Alan has spent years searching for his missing son Michael, who stormed out of the house one nice when they were playing a game of scrabble. Through this he has neglected his relationship with his youngest son Peter.
An emotional journey into how a person disappearing has a lasting impact on those they leave behind. In the opening scene we see Alan and Peter meeting up to travel together, they are actually going to a morgue as a body had been found. We slowly find out that this could well be their son/brother who has been missing for years. While staying over in a small hotel they meet Margaret and Arthur who are actually there to look at the same body for their son.
Scrabble is a very huge part of the film and demonstrates how words can help and take your mind off everything. Alan manages to hustle £200 from Arthur. Something which is then a little bit awkward but amusing at the same time when Peter finds out about it and embarrassed about his father. As well as that relationship Peter struggles to communicate with his own son Jack who is obsessed with playing games on his computer. When Alan stays with them for a few days he takes the computer to play scrabble online and is convinced he is playing against Michael. Wanting to meet the person behind the screen.
We get to see three different generations struggling to figure out what they are doing in life. I really enjoyed Jack’s story and the girl he had a crush on, walking past two bus stops so he could stand next to her. Something teenagers go through and I loved his make over thanks to Grandad Alan. As a tailor he gets Jack his own suit and this is something that I was not expecting from the film so such a lovely event to occur.
I felt the humour added by the characters at awkward moments was a very British thing as that is what we tend to do when things are not going great try to add a joke in as well. So that certainly gives it a very “could be my family” feel whilst watching it. I only think that is a good thing, as we all struggle to deal with grief and in this case the just not knowing what has happened to someone.
I am a huge Bill Nighy fan so it was great to see him in this very emotionally charged role and a different side to his acting from a lot of his other work. He captures the trauma and longing so very well, adding the small humorous moments to balance out what becomes a very believable character. Sam Riley and Alice Lowe were impressive in the roles of Peter and Sue. Riley linking very well with Nighy and the strained relationship that they share. Louis Healy who is the son of Tim Healy and Denise Welch, I was very impressed with the young actor in what is his biggest role so far.
Overall, this is a very emotional charged British film which will really tug at your heartstrings. Filmed in a fantastic way, I loved some of the shots between scenes with a very impressive score.