'Sometimes Always Never' is a new British film from director, Carl Hunter, and writer, Frank Cottrell Boyce, starring a list of British household names including Bill Nighy, Jenny Agutter and Alexi Sayle.
The film tells the story of Alan (played by Bill Nighy) a stylish gent in his '60s who runs a tailor's shop and drives a Triumph Herald. A modernist in the traditional sense, central to Alan's character is his penchant for a game of Scrabble, gleefully stating in an early scene that the only good thing about jazz is that it's a high scoring word.
Scrabble is a recurring theme throughout the strangely otherworldly film. It emerges that Alan and his youngest son are on a journey to identify a body that may or may not be that of his other son who has been missing since walking out during a heated session of the word game.
As well as Bill Nighy's excellent turn, Alan's present son, Peter is played by Sam Riley who will be familiar for many from his debut playing Ian Curtis in Anton Corbijn's 'Control'. The story follows Alan and Peter's family as they come to terms in their own ways with the void left by their missing family member.
The film's style began as a set of polaroids that Carl Hunter used as a basis for the film's look and feel. The unusual use of animated inserts, rear projection, considered colourisation and lowkey soundtrack has produced a film described perfectly by Danny Boyle as idiosyncratic. Frank Cottrell Boyce has previously been a regular collaborator with Boyle, having worked with him on the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony among other notable projects.
A key element of the film's sound bed is the music provided by another British icon, Edwyn Collins, who lends the soundtrack two songs, including a track from his recent album 'Badbea'.
The aural quality of the film no doubt also owes much to Carl Hunter's musical background. Aside from his film work, Hunter is also bassist with Liverpool indie/dance crossover band, The Farm. Frank Cottrell Boyce is no stranger to the North West's counterculture either, with Micheal Winterbottom's 'Twenty-Four Hour Party People' among his writing credits.
A unique film bringing together so many talents, its hardly surprising that Sometimes Always Never is a clever, sensitive and original film that manages to be both funny and touching while dealing with loss, without resorting to oversentimentality.
Sometimes Always Never is out now. For screenings, tickets and more visit sometimesalwaysnever.co.uk