A lifeless drama through and through, Living is about a dull British municipal worker who discovers he is dying of cancer—a story best left untold.
Bill Nighy has been praised for his stoic performance here, but I didn’t see much to turn heads; Nighy is a talented actor but if anything this poor man is trapped in a walking corpse of a movie. He barely gets to whisper his lines before the cancer claims him, and even then we, the audience, have to suffer through even more boring drama.
“Drama” is a strong word, however, because there is so little conflict or even emotional momentum it’s hard to compliment Living with such a word. Nighy’s character is so featureless it’s impossible to elicit any time of emotion toward his unwitting demise; your only sympathy lies in a quick end so we can all move onto greater things.
Living is an energy succubus, a creature designed to strip you if your enthusiasm for film. Nighy has received accolades, but what he should have received instead is a better film.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.