Skip to main content

Bill Nighy in Sometimes Always Never.

Hurricane Films

  • Sometimes Always Never
  • Directed by Carl Hunter
  • Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • Starring Bill Nighy, Sam Riley and Alice Lowe
  • Classification PG
  • 91 minutes

rating

Anyone who’s played it knows that Scrabble can make or break a family. And in the case of director Carl Hunter’s Sometimes Always Never, it somehow manages to do both.

After Alan’s (Bill Nighy) son Michael walks out in the midst of a Scrabble-related argument, never to be seen again, Alan and his youngest son Peter (Sam Riley) must team up to identify a body and subsequently survive the tsunami of emotions that tend to accompany loaded familial dynamics. Fortunately, Hunter uses the story of a Scrabble-obsessed man – who believes the game can locate his lost child – as a vehicle for humour, terrific onscreen chemistry, and warm, believable performances by the likes of Nighy, Riley and Jenny Agutter (whose character trajectory I will not spoil for you).

New films in theatres and streaming this week: Joker – not worth the hype – and Where’s My Roy Cohn? – about a hype machine

The film is also peppered with animation, mid-century kitsch and a touch of whimsy, making Sometimes Always Never seem more like an intimate stage production than an exercise in cinematic self-seriousness. (Because let’s face it: it’d be easy for a plot like this to seem very grisly or heavy-handed.)

Story continues below advertisement

It’s no real murder-mystery, but it does pose questions that transcend who did what to whom and when. One of which being whether or not you can really play “jazz” in Scrabble.

Sometimes Always Never opens Oct. 4

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter