I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The quirk is strong with this one… too strong. And too forced. Piles of gentle but off-kilter kook and visual frolicking bury any authentic emotion, a particular problem in a tale of a man mired in grief and struggling to right himself. Bill Nighy (Emma.) is a tailor by profession and a Scrabble hustler on the side — that’s right, I said “Scrabble hustler” — whose strained relationship with his son (Sam Riley: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) seems headed for a bit of a showdown after a fresh reminder of a family tragedy, one the ongoing and unresolved nature of which makes it difficult to get past.
Sometimes Always Never — not to be confused with the wildly different Never Rarely Sometimes Always — throws a lot of head-scratching whimsy at us, hoping some of it will make a melancholy landing, but only a running motif about off-brand toys and cheap knockoff board games manages even a slight sense of pathos. Frank Cottrell Boyce’s (The Railway Man) script packs in eccentric tangents: the elegance of a labelmaker font; a part-time freelance coal miner; the correct way a man should button his suit jackets. The latter is where the film gets its title, and like almost everything else here, it floats away on wisps of insignificance.
First-time feature director Carl Hunter has genuine cinematic charisma, a distinctive style that I’ll be happy to watch out for more of, hopefully next time with a story and script that’s a better match for it.