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Living Blu-ray Review

Bill Nighy elevates “Living.”

Set in 1953 in London, “Living” revolves around an elderly civil servant (Rodney Williams) who works a bureaucratic desk job which involves a whole lot of paperwork. After getting diagnosed with terminal cancer, Rodney finds himself at a crossroads. Initially, he contemplates suicide, but instead decides to take time off by hanging out at a pub, befriending a youthful former co-worker (Ms. Harris) and essentially trying to live life to the fullest. Upon returning to work, Rodney feels inspired to do good by attempting to help get a petitioned children’s playground built on a bomb site.

Some film buffs may groan at the notion of a film based off of Akira Kurosawa’s classic “Ikiru,” but this British period piece directed by Oliver Hermanus works well. Not only does it pay homage to its predecessor, but writer Kazuo Ishiguro (who earned an Oscar nomination) repurposes the story to feel entirely fitting to the story being told within this film. “Living” is very much a dramatic character piece about a gentleman who lives a routine existence that decides to make a difference in his final days. It’s an introspective and reflective story that is underplayed. It doesn’t hit you with Hollywoodized dramatic moments with an emotionally manipulative score. 

Most of the film’s discussion revolves around veteran actor Bill Nighy and rightly so. He gives a quiet, understated and ultimately moving performance that earned him an Oscar nomination. It’s the type of performance in which Nighy can say so much without saying a word (particularly with his inability to communicate to his son). Nighy is joined by a notable supporting cast comprised of rising star Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp as the young civil servant Peter and Adrian Rawlins as Mr. Sutherland. 


Presentation: 1.48:1 1080p. How does it look? The well shot film shines in hi-def (and in a unique aspect ratio I might add).

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? While not the most audio intensive film, this 5.1 track works suitably well.

* “Living” theatrical trailer and other Sony trailers.
* “A Life Semi-Lived”- A featurette with film clips, set footage, interviews and character and story discussions.


April 9, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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