Sometimes Always Never
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Carl Hunter’s film takes grief, mystery, and messy family relations and turns them into dramedy gold. Alan (Bill Nighy) is a dapper, impish boomer in search of his long-missing son. Peter (Sam Riley) is his other child, a more reserved sort who tends to be embarrassed by his father’s shenanigans. As the film opens, the two are on their way to the morgue: a body has turned up, and it may belong to the boy who, one evening years ago, stepped out for a walk and never came back…
As the film goes on, it offers low-key suspense, lots of laughs, and some poignant reversals. Scrabble lovers in particular should be delighted with the movie, but in fact it’s for everyone who loves fine acting and good old-fashioned British wit. Hunter laces the movie with funky set design and some retro visual effects, giving it a zany, whimsical feel. Nighy is superb as usual; a master of comic understatement, he imbues his character with a poise that vainly masks a broken heart.
"[A] distinct, articulate pleasure." - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian