19 March 2003 | Edward Randell
It's all in the detail
This was probably the finest film I saw last year. From its first scene, with the ever-so-English Bill Nighy, it was funny, sad and thought-provoking in equal measures. Nighy's turn as the confused, homophobic but well-meaning Dan was strong, and fully engaged our sympathies, but was trumped when we rewound and saw the same events as Nick (Tom Hollander). Hollander has a marvellous ability to show endless longing in a single eye movement - he's a remarkable actor and once again gave us a fully empathetic character. Sukie Smith, the opposite of his character, was clumsy but lovable as Charlie, and that segment felt almost self-contained.
When we rewound again to see Tim's viewpoint, I was a little disappointed. Tim had proved a horrible, selfish character, and I didn't fancy "being" him for any length of time. But Doug Henshall blew my mind in a performance that completely changed my view of his character and led to a moving and satisfying resolution.
In each of these men we are offered a different aspect of the Everyman. We learn that no-one is as they appear. Other laudable aspects are the uniformly strong supporting cast, the beautiful photography and music, but above all the little details. For example, Tim spooning sugar off the floor was genius. And in the restaurant when he makes a ring for Leah out of wire. And then the ashtray catches fire. Also, spot Corrine's dinner party in the background as Dan drives past. Look out for as many of these as possible! This is a film in which every detail is thought through, and it contributes for a cinematically enriching experience. SEE IT.