Review: In 1950s London, a humourless civil servant Mr. Williams rethinks his outlook on life after receiving news of a grim diagnosis. He decides to make a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful and to rethink his outlook on life.
Director: Oliver Hermanus
Actors: Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Adrian Rawlins, Oliver Chris, Michael Cochrane, Anant Varman, Zoe Boyle, Lia Williams, Jessica Flood, Jamie Wilkes, Richard Cunningham, John Mackay, Ffion Jolly, Celeste Dodwell, Tom Burke and Patsy Ferran
Year: 2022
Genre: Drama
Conclusion: 5/5
This is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. I enjoyed everything about it. I have to say that in my opinion this is Bill Nighy’s career-best performance. I do hope he does get an Oscar/Bafta Award for his performance. Even if he doesn’t, this will be the film that everyone will remember him by. I do think that Adrian Rawlins gives a fantastic performance. Great to see him take on a more central and important role. He didn’t have much material to work with but you could see him thinking all the time. I really enjoyed seeing Tom Burke. Again, he made his performance look really easy but actually he didn’t have a lot of material to work with but what he did do left a great impression on me. I thought a lot about his character after and he only had a few scenes right at the beginning. This is also Jamie Wilkes’s first feature film (I once saw him in “Two Noble Kinsmen” at the RSC). I also enjoyed Aimee Lou Wood’s performance and hope to see much more of her in the future. I loved the way that the scenes were all cut and edited. From one scene to the next I never knew what was going to come. I thought that the script was very masterly written. The screenwriter Kazuo Ishiguro has also written novels such as The Remains of the Day and also Never Let Me Go. I also thought it was superb direction from Oliver Hermanus. Bill Nighy’s character starts befriending a young female worker but he starts to see a version of his lost self and of all the things that you dream of being. There is one scene where all the men in the office decide to keep a promise together. The most important quote in this film is by Mr. Williams: “We can keep it here. It can do no harm”. Even though this is a remake of a Japanese film Ikiru (1952) I think that Living does stand alone as its own film. It didn’t make me want to go and see the original. I think it has a lovely melancholy feel about it. I think it is a very moving and touching film. Without being too depressing it does make you think that you actually don’t have all the time in the world. I do think that this is a very important story to be told. During the film and after I cried. I was so disappointed that I wanted to go back into the screening room and watch it again for the second time. This film touches on many themes including bereavement, illness, ageing, bureaucracy, family relationships, the work place, the power of women and the culture of the 1950s. One of the best aspects of the film is the soundtrack and score.


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