Tuesday 2 July 2019

Film: 'Sometimes, Always, Never'

How long can I prevail before having to resort to the word 'quirky'? Not long at all, it seems.

A riddle of a film, highly stylised in parts - purposeful back projections as well as unexpected camera angles and lighting - all of which I could buy into, not without some degree of pleasure, though I feel it could well drive some people up the wall.

Stalwart of British films (usually rom-coms), Bill Nighy, is a shop-owning tailor with a mania for playing Scrabble, now reflecting on his missing elder son who'd disappeared some years previously after walking out of the house in a huff following an argument over a game of such with his father. Having ascertained near the film's start that a body he's been called to identify is, after all, not that of his errant son, during a Scrabble game he's currently playing on his phone it suddenly dawns on him that this one of his internet opponents could be that very same vanished family member. He visits his other son, also a mature adult (Sam Riley), who likewise wants to know what became of his brother, though there's an emotional distance between father and this younger son.
Another couple (Jenny Agutter and Tim McInnerny) also have a body to identify, and they pop up every now and again with an incidental connection to the Nighy character.

The film's strange title refers to suit-wearing dress etiquette relating to the standard three jacket buttons and, top to bottom, whether they should be buttoned or no. (News to me too!)  

One can't deny that it's a strange kind of film, quite unusual, though none the worse for being so. Nighy himself untypically plays a rather introverted, restrained and pensive character, and is as good as he always is. 

This is director Carl Hunter's first full length feature film (though he's in his 50s), and could well be a foretaste of more films to come in this genre of curiosity. I hope so. Though I did indeed enjoy it to a degree, I'd only watch it again in order to fill in some of the several holes in the story with which I was puzzled. 
The film was shot, apparently. on the Irish Sea coast of Lancashire and around York.

Something a bit different. then, which will give adequate satisfaction to some, though others may well be inclined towards being dismissive of it................6.5.

(IMDb..........7.1 / Rott. Toms (critics only).........also 7.1 ) 


  1. Rachel loved it...and so after her endorsement with this and I will be going

    1. Sounds like you too are a fan of the 'oddball' film, JayGee, and that should mean that this will be right up your street.

  2. It sounds like one I'd love. i enjoy quirky, and the Brits do it so well.

    1. If you are at ease when separating 'normality' and the strangeness of what you see on screen, Bob - and seems like you are - this is definitely one for you. It's one from left-field, and I only wish there were more of them.

  3. I love Bill Nighy and with Rachel's and your review I will watch this when it comes round.