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Sometimes Always Never


Stars: Bill Nighy, Sam Riley, Alice Lowe, Jenny Agutter, Tim McInnerny, Alexei Sayle, Louis Healy

Director: Carl Hunter

Deliberately quirky, very British vignette that introduces us to an odd, Scrabble-mad family somewhere near the coast in the north of England.

As the film opens, Grandad (Nighy), a tailor, and his son Peter (Riley) are visiting a mortuary to see if a found body is that of Peter's missing brother, who walked out years ago over a Scrabble dispute and hasn't been seen since. Another couple (Agutter, McInnerny) are also there to view the body.

While waiting overnight at a hotel, Nighy takes 200 pounds off McInnerny at Scrabble, using such words as Muzjiks, zygote and Magbut.

Later, Riley's family find themselves lumbered with Nighy, who occupies the bottom bunk of his teenage grandson Jack's (Healy) bed. And the delightful Agutter makes a reappearance.

Rather endearing at times, but also slow, the film has its characters sometimes doing nothing much over lengthy periods of time. It's like being in a Pinter play one moment, and a sub-standard imitation of a Terence Davies movie the next.

Mood-wise, though, the film is all of a piece, with occasional animated insertions along the way. It's an oddity, but proud to be so.

David Quinlan

UK 2019. UK Distributor: Parkland Entertainment. Colour (unspecified).
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Jun 2019