Living [7/10]

Everyone I know who has seen “Living” mentions that “Bill Nighy plays Bill Nighy really well,”but that throwaway comment downplays his superb performance as a characterless civil servant in 1950s London who receives a terminal cancer assessment and proceeds on a journey of rediscovery of life’s meanings. Nighy graces us with his usual effete, over-mannered depiction but also soars in naked, emotional scenes. Ably supported by a fine cast, notable for stellar performances from, among others, Aimee Lou Wood and Tom Burke, Nighy turns what is an over-soppy story into a graceful meditation on final days. Also notable is Kazuo Ishiguro’s agile, understated screenplay. Living reaches for no heady heights and carries its sentimentality a little too visibly, but provides oddly welcome viewing in this age of froth and fury.

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