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An occasionally, bleak, but sincere and witty film that focuses on communication, or the lack thereof, between a father and son.

Alan (Bill Nighy) is a fussy tailor and father of two sons, one of whom has gone missing. He and his younger son Peter, (Sam Riley), must travel across England to identify a body. In a glum little B&B, Alan makes a bet on a game of scrabble and wins but the body is not his son.

Close camera work and attention to colour codes of the late 60s make this a gritty film. Jenny Agutter as the fed-up wife of the B&B couple swindled by Alan and, Sam Riley as the younger son trying to have a solid relationship with his errant father, give sterling performances, which fully compliment Nighy’s understated yet intensely provocative style.

★★★ ½

 

Reviewed by Renee Lou Dallow