A reworking of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru from South Africa’s Oliver Hermanus becomes an affecting elegy on repression in its own right transposed to 1953 London.
Living strs the venerable Bill Nighy (Love Actually) as the unassuming civil servant Williams whose calm life routine is upended with a gloomy medical diagnosis.
But, as it unfolds with reliance on a script that hones to the formidable antecedent you find how Nighy is able to grasp the soul of a man tending towards influence and legacy from low-key meticulousness.
Hermanus offers nuance into elegant provocation that becomes less contrived and more genuine. Especially as Nighy gains more traction opposite actors like Tim Burke, Alex Sharp (a new hire), and former office staffer espoused with piquancy Aimee Lou Wood. The iconic Japanese auteur would find much joy in with Hermanus, and especially Nighy have done with his masterly template sixty years later.