Sometimes Always Never Parent Guide
With very little content to worry about, this quiet film is just right for anyone who enjoys quirky, dry, character-based dramas.
Parent Movie Review
Alan (Bill Nighy) is a widower, tailor, and word-game enthusiast whose life is consumed by a new obsession: finding his missing son Michael. When a body turns up in a nearby town, Alan brings his son Peter (Sam Riley) along to identify it. Both men are conflicted, torn between a need for certainty and a stubborn hope; uncertain about whether they want the deceased to be Michael or not. Whatever the outcome, Alan and Peter have to come to terms with the cracks in their relationship and their emotionally tangled past.
This isn’t a film for everyone - it’s slow, a little bleak, and very quirky. The visual style has a strong geometric focus which is interesting for cinema buffs. The writing is what takes center stage in this film, and its understated dry humor and patience with its characters really shine in the simple story.
My family has long shared Alan’s affinity for word games, and the debates over which words are allowable (or are even real words in the first place) are familiar and quite endearing. Less endearing but twice as funny is watching a relationship implode over a poorly considered game of Scrabble, which is one of the driest scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie.
Bill Nighy is relentlessly charming, even when Alan is being a thoroughly unpleasant character. His charisma is what holds the rest of the film together, and Sam Riley and Alice Lowe (who plays Peter’s wife, Sue) make good use of it to anchor their performances.
Content concerns are almost non-existent: no profanity or violence to speak of, a few non-descriptive references to sex, and only one scene of social drinking. That said, this is probably a little slow for kids. The film spends a lot of time hinting at characters’ emotions and thoughts, and little time is devoted to action. Suitable content isn’t everything, and bored kids can wreck a nice movie faster than anything else.
This is a perfectly pleasant little film, with some good messages about family relationships, but I don’t think it has much mass-market appeal. I really enjoyed it, so if you find yourself agreeing with my other reviews, you’ll probably have a lovely time. If you think I’m artsy and pretentious, you might want to put Sometimes Always Never in the “never” category.
This movie is currently screening in Canada. We will re-post this review when it opens in the United States.Directed by Carl Hunter. Starring Bill Nighy, Sam Riley, Alice Lowe. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release October 4, 2019. Updated January 23, 2020
Watch the trailer for Sometimes Always Never
Sometimes Always Never
Rating & Content Info
Why is Sometimes Always Never rated PG-13? Sometimes Always Never is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic elements and some sexual references
Violence: None. Death and loss are major themes of the film.
Sexual Content: There are non-explicit references to sexual behavior. Characters discuss the body of a female avatar in a computer game. There is non-explicit mention of a girl being groomed online by an older man. There is a mention of having sex; no detail.
Profanity: Infrequent use of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown having a drink in a pub. One character is shown smoking.
Page last updated January 23, 2020
Sometimes Always Never Parents' Guide
Peter feels that his father is neglecting him in favor of Michael, but he comes to realize that he has had his own advantages. What does he say those advantages were? What are the benefits of being the non-Prodigal son?
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