Theatre group review: Living with Bill Nighy

3 of our members visited the Pavilions, Teignmouth, to see the film Living starring Bill Nighy where he tackles life and death in an exquisitely sad drama.  The film from screenwriter Kazuo Ishiguro is remake of the film Ikiru, or To Live, set in Japan.

A buttoned up civil servant works joylessly in the town planning department; he is a lonely widower estranged from his grasping son and daughter-in-law. Mr Williams (Bill Nighy), approaching retirement, receives a stomach-cancer diagnosis with one year to live and he realises he has been dead until this moment.  After a mad and undignified attempt at boozy debauchery in the company of a louche writer (Tom Burke) plus a platonic yet scandalous infatuation with a female junior (Aimee Lou Wood), and meeting a young man starting in this dull office (Alex Sharp), Mr Williams finds something he might achieve by forcing the city authorities to build the modest little children’s playground for which local mothers have been desperately petitioning and which he and his colleagues have been smugly preventing with their bureaucratic inertia.  He is determined to get the playground built before death closes in.

This is a beautifully sad, deeply felt, film, with some humour, and superbly acted by all the actors.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Di Coulson