Sometimes Always Never

Sometimes Always Never (Carl Hunter, 2018) wr. Frank Cottrell Boyce; Bill Nighy, Sam Riley, Alice Lowe, Jenny Agutter

The title of Frank Cottrell Boyce's story, on which he based his screenplay, is Triple Word Score. This makes a little more sense (but not much) than the present title, given that Scrabble is central to the story. In the film, Bill Nighy is a tailor, and he explains to his grandson that the top button of a three-button suit is sometimes done up, while the middle button is always so, and the bottom one never. This has nothing to do with anything whatsoever in the story.

But it's a whimsical film, so I suppose it doesn't matter, any more than does the conversation in the car with obvious back-projection - the way they did it in Casablanca - or the jump cuts. Or the conversation with the silent ice-cream man about the paint design on the ice-cream van. Or the ubiquitous Dymo labeller.

Did I mention Scrabble? Nighy's character is a wizz at it - which can probably also be spelt whiz. That's relevant- as the game of Scrabble only has one zed - as is pointed out several times in the film. By an amazing coincidence he (Nighy's character) plays the word GRIOT in a game in the film. I tried to play this only yesterday in Words With Friends (an online version of Scrabble) but it was disallowed, annoyingly.

... You can probably tell that I enjoyed this film, and that I'm reluctant to tell you anything at all about it. There are some films that I simply refuse to tell my friends anything about, as I hope they might be able to have the same experience as me - knowing nothing about a film, and being utterly charmed by it, as it slowly overwhelms.

It was lovely to see Jenny Agutter still working, tho I couldn't remember her name straightaway.

... OK. This is a lovely, sad, funny film about a Liverpool family. It has nothing offensive about it, no special effects, no bullshit. It's simply charming.

(I think the film could have been called Double Word Score.)

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 4 March, 2020 | Now: 5 March, 2020