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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Living (2022)

Remakes, love or loathe them, you really can't ignore them. Before a word was spoken I was already thinking of another remake, Blancmange's mid-eighties cover of Abba's 'The Day Before You Came'. Their take on the Swedish superband's song felt altogether British and of a certain age, which was unusual in itself.

Still, the images of hoards of middle-managers and pin-striped financiers making for the city on a train in the morning, all bowler hats and tight lips, made the leap very easy.

If you've seen it, Kurosawa's Ikiru will also no doubt spring to mind, as this is where the real inspiration comes from here. Remade with an altogether British flavour, Bill Nighy plays the part of Mr Williams, head of department at the LCC, a paper-pushing excuse for a living that he had become all too used to.

When he's diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only six months to live, he becomes determined to re-evaluate his existence and becomes a force for change. A quiet, unassuming and gentle man, he does very little in the booing geese arena and what he does, he does with care and even it doesn't mean a great deal in the grand scheme of all things, the selfless gesture would mean more.

This is really a quiet lovely picture throughout with some fine performances from everyone involved. Nighy himself is as good here as he has ever been and the cinematography and attention to detail, a fine script and excellent pacing make this more than worthy of your time, which you could easily find yourself totally lost in for the moments you have with it. This nearly passed me by as I came to this one very late, but I'm so glad I managed to get the opportunity to see it, as you will too.

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