Sometime Always Never
Directed by Carl Hunter
Coming from a Scrabble crazy family I thought this movie would be a funny take on the competitiveness of family board games. You know, when perfectly reasonable and moral human beings believe it is completely OK to cheat, steal, upend boards, bully and basically behave like 5-year-olds when in the act of competing to win a game.
The flip-side of this childhood was being blessed with a mother who, late in life when playing with grandchildren (probably not having had the time for such leisurely activities whilst bringing up the six of us), suggested that they didn’t score - thereby assisting in making a generation of grandchildren ‘a whole lot nicer’ (superior, better, improved, enhanced) than her own!
Bill Nighy is always great value. His comic timing is perfect and he has a way of inhabiting roles that makes them totally believable, whether it be as a wicked rock star (‘Love Actually’) or, in the case of ‘Sometimes Always Never’, as a single father who has brought up two sons, one of them having gone missing in the middle of a scrabble match after his brother claimed the word ‘Zo’ (definition: a Tibetan breed of cattle, developed by crossing the yak with common cattle.)
I guess you could call ‘Sometimes Always Never’ an updated version of the ‘Prodigal Son’, for you find that Nighy’s character in his obsession with his lost son (and scrabble), would appear to not value the relationship with the son he still has, and this movie is their comedic journey back to love.
I enjoyed ‘Sometimes Always Never’, but knowing it would be a comedy starring Nighy, I expected it would be a whole lot funnier.
On the plus side, this movie is a wonderful journal of a Britain that is rapidly disappearing, with gorgeous cinematography catching those idiosyncratic shopfronts of private owned businesses not long for this world; the non-cookie cutter people who work them; and the luscious country side, sea scapes, ice cream vans and fairgrounds of a time almost past.
If you have a rainy afternoon up your sleeve you could do a lot worse.