“Living” Movie Review: Gloomily Cheerful

A film made for a great actor



Living is a drama film starring Bill Nighy and directed by Oliver Hermanus.

An excellent remake with a brilliant performance by Bill Nighy. A great movie.  However, it might not be the kind of film you feel like watching.  Nonetheless, if you give it a chance, you’ll be glad you did.


William is an elderly man who receives a devastating medical diagnosis: he has six months to live.

About the Film

Brilliant in every way, from the cinematography to the superb direction by Oliver Hermanus, who manages to transfer Kurosawa’s original film to an English setting – a challenge for any director.

It draws on and adopts from the original and is totally faithful to it, in addition to providing – and, above all, counting on – an exceptional actor in what is probably the role of his life. Billy Nighty is magnificent in a film that, once seen, could not exist without him. He’s the perfect protagonist in a performance that quite simply couldn’t be better.

Living is a balanced film in every way: very solid, faithful, and with just the right touch of lyricism, almost perfect in its execution… even so, it’s a film that you have to want to see, a film about an expected ending that can only leave us with a sad, bittersweet feeling.

Superfluous.  It knows how to tell a story, and how to do so elegantly without slipping into being plain melodramatic, it’s even exquisite at times … but with the caveat of the undeniable evidence that it had already been filmed, and its masterstrokes, already marked out by Kurosawa.

Our Opinion

A great film that you won’t feel like watching, despite  its excellent form.


Oliver Hermanus
"Living" Movie Review: Gloomily Cheerful 11

Oliver Hermanus

The Cast

Bill Nighy / Williams
Aimee Lou Wood / Margaret Harris
Alex Sharp / Peter Wakeling
Tom Burke / Sutherland
Adrian Rawlins / Middleton

Oliver Chris / Hart
Michael Cochrane / Sir James

Zoe Boyle / Mrs. McMasters

Hubert Burton / Rusbridger
Barney Fishwick / Michael


Movie title: Living

Movie description: In 1950s London, a humorless civil servant decides to take time off work to experience life after receiving a grim diagnosis.

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 102 mins

Director(s): Oliver Hermanus

Writer(s): Kazuo Ishiguro, Akira Kurosawa

Cinematography: Jamie Ramsay

Music: Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch

Actor(s): Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Tom Burke, Alex Sharp, Adrian Rawlins, Hubert Burton, Oliver Chris, Michael Cochrane, Anant Varman, Zoe Boyle

Genre: Drama

Companies: Ingenious, Film4 Productions, Film I Väst, Filmgate Films, Kurosawa Production Co., Number 9 Films, County Hall,

Our Opinion

A great film that you won’t feel like watching, despite  its excellent form.


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