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Uniquely quirky but a long hard slog that is as dull as dishwater

Sometimes things are never what they appear to be you may have the best vocabulary in the world but it’s not always easy to communicate with the ones you call Family. In Carl Hunter’s feature film debut a cunning wordsmith articulates his loss of a son by neglecting another in a uniquely quirky yet dull as dishwater slog that makes you want to grab it by the collar and give it a good shake.

Bill Nighy plays Alan, a lonely father obsessed with finding his favourite son after he walked out from an argument over a game of scrabble some years ago. From his own blinkeredness, he proceeds to neglect the son left behind, Peter (Sam Riley) causing bitterness and resentment towards his Father in his adult life. As Father and son are forced together in what could be a last-ditch attempt to reunite the heartbroken Alan with his absent son, they are forced to look at their own relationship with each other.

Despite the use of the brilliant Nighy with his perfectly pitched Liverpudlian accent and scrabble hustling poker face, there is little in the plot that resembles any life. Now completely obsessed with Scrabble, Alan is a complete stone wall on the surface but deep down he is an emotional obsessive. He uses his cunning intellect to fool a couple played by Tom McInnerny and Jenny Agutter into a game of Scrabble whilst staying at a B&B

As the story trudges along Peter has no problem with expressing his lack of patience’s for his Father’s eccentricities, he holds onto his own resentment while trying to be a good husband to his wife (Alice Lowe) and the father he never had to his own son, Jack (Louis Healy).  While the lack of a bond is glaring between Peter and Alan, during the time Alan stays with Peter, Alan builds a bond with his grandson who introduces him to the online world of Scrabble, opening up another big black hole of emotional turmoil when Alan becomes convinced he is playing his long lost offspring.

Classed as comedy-drama, this fails to raise the faintest of titters despite its best efforts of the dead-pan drollness of an exceptional cast. A valiant effort of tenacity but its final word score is a complete zero.

Sometimes Always Never is out in UK cinemas June 14th

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