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LIVING

Living succeeds because the filmmakers comprehend that sticking to the familiar is sometimes the best policy in adapting a great story, as it keeps all the strengths intact.


Does a remake of a classic like Akira Kurosawa’s Ikuru make any sense at all? One would think not, especially since it’s the kind of film that mostly attracts audiences who don’t mind reading subtitles anyway.


And yet, Living stakes a valid claim for its existence. Not because the screenplay by Nobel Prize laureate Kazuo Ishiguro diverges massively from the original – though the fifties, bureaucratic London setting is arguably an even better arena for the film – or because the themes and values of the tale about a dying civil servant looking to leave a legacy have gained a more modern meaning. No, Living succeeds because the filmmakers comprehend that sticking to the familiar is sometimes the best policy in adapting a great story, as it keeps all the strengths intact.


It helps of course that the picture has got a perfect lead in Bill Nighy, who seems bound for a deserved Oscar nomination, and that director Oliver Hermanus strikes an excellent balance between old-school filmmaking and what modern art-house cinephiles expect.


That makes Living a pleasure to watch.



release: 2022

director: Oliver Hermanus

starring: Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Adrian Rawlins

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