FAMILY DRAMA: Bill Nighy plays Alan, a tailor whose family is broken apart.

Sometimes Always Never

  • Comedy drama; Cert PG, contains sexual references; 1hr 27mins
  • Starring: Sam Riley, Bill Nighy, Tim McInnerny, Alice Lowe, Jenny Agutter, John Westley, Oliver Sindcup and Louis Healy
  • Director: Carl Hunter

FINALLY, a movie that uses the game of Scrabble as the crux of it’s story .
Sadly, Sometimes Always Never relies too heavily on the quirkiness of its characters and too lightly on storyline.

A quiet and reflective look at the relationship between a father and his son, this is the sort of film where most of the drama takes place below the surface.

Bill Nighy plays Alan, an elderly tailor with an obsession with the board game, Scrabble.
With the help of his adult son, Peter (Sam Riley), Alan has never stopped searching for his missing son, Michael.

Michael stormed out of the house years ago after an argument over the use of the word “Zo” on a triple word score.

He has not been seen since.

First time feature film director Carl Hunter lingers lovingly over the essential Englishness of the characters and the settings. It might be a little too lingering for some. I found myself struggling not to nod off in places.

But the cast are just so likeably off-beat and real that it is an enjoyable experience never-the-less.

Screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce clearly has a gift for character, and Alice Lowe (Hot Fuzz) who plays Peter’s wife, Sue, delivers her hilarious lines with absolute credibility.

But for me, none of this delightfulness really made up for walking out of the theatre with that inconclusive “Is that it? feeling.