“Living”: what to leave tangible?
Unsurprisingly, Bill Nighy picked up an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a man with only months to live.
In post-WWII London, the municipal permits office resembles the bureaucracy of Terry Gilliam's “Brazil”, the stuffy, translucent civil servants pretending to be busy with mountains of files they don't deal with ever.
Williams (Bill Nighy) is the boss of one of the departments. With the arrogance of an all-British sovereign, he watches over his troops, including Peter Wakeling (Alex Sharp), the newcomer and Margaret (Aimee Lou Wood of the excellent “Sex Education” series), a radiant secretary about to find herself. a much more rewarding job elsewhere.
At the same time, Williams learns that he has cancer and that his life expectancy is a few months. He talks about it to a stranger, Sutherland (Tom Burke), whom he meets in a restaurant and who takes him on a tour of London at night. He also confides in Margaret… but not in his son (Barney Fishwick) and even less in his step-daughter (Patsy Ferran) with whom he nevertheless lives.
English to the end, he is silent… except in the presence of Margaret thanks to whom he strives to live fully and leave a trace of his passage on Earth.
Adaptation, by screenwriter Kazuo Ishiguro, of the feature film “Ikiru” by Akira Kurosawa, itself inspired by a short story by Léon Tolstoy, “Vivre” is a very beautiful study on existence as death approaches and we will find, in addition to sad, some one of the themes of “Life according to Otto”. Yes, Bill Nighy is well deserving of his Oscar nomination, but it's no coincidence that the feature also only made it to the Best Adapted Screenplay category.
- Note: 3 out of 5