Sometimes Always Never 15

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DIRECTOR Carl Hunter
CAST Bill Nighy, Sam Riley, Alice Lowe, Jenny Agutter

Bill Nighy impresses as a Scrabble-obsessive searching for his estranged son in this offbeat British drama written by Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Bill Nighy is winningly deadpan in this offbeat comedy-drama. He plays a Scrabble-obsessed Merseyside tailor, whose eldest son stormed out of the house after a particularly heated round of the board game, never to return. Years later, Alan and his other son (Sam Riley) continue the search while trying to repair their own strained relationship. Working from a witty and astute script by screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, the superb cast capture the shifting moods of a family who know plenty of words but struggle to communicate.
(2018 UK 89 mins)

There’s a beguiling Englishness to this elegant, offbeat comedy-drama, terrifically written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce and directed by feature debutant Carl Hunter. It has a wonderful syncopation in its writerly rhythm and narrative surprises. The film positively twinkles with insouciance, and is performed with aplomb, particularly by Bill Nighy, who brings a droll sprightliness and deadpan wit to the lead part, but shows how these mannerisms mask emotional pain. Sam Riley is excellent as the character’s long-suffering son … This film is a distinct, articulate pleasure.  Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

BBFC advice: Contains moderate sex references and language
Detailed advice from the BBFC (click on insight)