While this film has a few decent moments, it is not a movie you will see twice.
Mr. Bill Nighy is a great actor who has been in over 70 films. However, his one-dimensional role in Living not only did not deserve an Oscar nomination, but reflects the Academy’s racial discrimination.
While the Academy stumbles over itself nominating Cate Blanchett for Tar and Ana de Armas for Blonde, they ignore Viola Davis and Lashana Lynch for The Woman King and Danielle Deadwyler for Till. Now we have Mr. Nighy in a lackluster performance in a lackluster film.
In any event, the film takes place in London in the 1950’s. Mr. Nighy plays Rodney Williams, an aging head of the public works department. A widower who is bored both at home and work, he receives a medical diagnosis that gives him six months to live.
Seldom smiling in the entire film, Williams initially patronizes a few bars. However, he finds meaning with the help of a young female colleague played with style and passion by Aimee Lou Wood.
Hoping to help Williams find some enjoyment, she accompanies him to a restaurant and a movie theater. To her credit, she almost makes him smile.
But the film finds meaning when Williams helps two women overcome obstacles at his office to build a small playground in a run-down section of London. In that regard, the films best scenes show Williams sitting on a swing after the successful completion of construction.
Giving nothing away, the film ends with the camera focused on the empty swing after Williams died. You leave the theater with the wistful feeling that at least he left this world a happy man.