Living – Bill Nighy – Movie Review by Efe Teksoy


Cinema Writer/Film Critic Efe TEKSOY; wrote the drama film “LIVING” for America’s Los Angeles-based Internet Newspaper @alaturkanews.


Making its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Living was nominated for two Oscars at the 95th Academy Awards: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading, Best Adapted Screenplay. Written by the Nobel Prize-winning Japanese-British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, the film is directed by BAFTA-nominated South African filmmaker Oliver Hermanus. Adapted from the 1952 Japanese film Ikiru, directed by the legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, one of the most important and influential directors in the history of cinema, Living is inspired by Lev Tolstoy‘s 1886 classic novel, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Set in 1953 London, the film tells the story of a bureaucrat in the county Public Works department, who is facing a terminal illness, as he lives the last days of his life and rediscovers life. Stars; Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Adrian Rawlins, Hubert Burton, Oliver Chris, Michael Cochrane, Anant Varman, Zoe Boyle and Lia Williams.


Known as the “Emperor of Japanese Cinema”, Akira Kurosawa‘s 1952 film Ikiru is one of the films that best reflect the director’s existential philosophy, and its subtext is adorned with symbolic meanings. We see that this new modernized British adaptation remains true to this and is adorned with symbolic meanings. Williams character, who has not had any bad habits throughout his life, plunges into the world of entertainment in the remaining days of his life, believing that he will find meaning in human pleasures and satisfactions, and goes on a quest. On this journey, the person he chooses as his guide takes Williams on a tour through the land of sinners, just like the guide Virgil in the Italian poet Dante‘s Divine Comedy. On the other hand, the character of William; When he learns that he has an illness, he takes action with the principle of “not giving up the work he started”, as in the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Thus, we see Mr. Williams bringing people together by fostering solidarity for the smooth running of public works. This leads us to the “binding process”, which is one of the main concerns of Émile Durkheim‘s sociology. In addition, in this modern production, which is an English adaptation, we see that special attention is drawn to the concepts of “punctuality” and “courtesy”, which are characteristic of the British.


-Vintage 1950s color newsreel footage was digitally cleaned up for this film to add authenticity to establishing shots of London.

-The production designers went to a great deal of trouble to make this film look like it was made in the era it was set, including avoiding quick edits, softening the color palette, and using a relevant font for the film credits.

-To help him get into character, Bill Nighy purposefully made his voice thinner, as if Mr. Williams had trouble getting his voice out of his body, such was the extent of his own repression.

-This was the first film Bill Nighy made after a year off due to Covid-19 lockdowns.


Living in the psychological-drama genre; It was screened and awarded at numerous important film festivals such as Los Angeles Film Critics Association, London Film Critics Association, Venice, Toronto, and San Sebastian. Bill Nighy, the master British actor in the lead role, with his magnificent performance in the movie; was Nominated for Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar awards. Do not miss this movie, which is one of the important productions of the awards season.



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