Living (2022) Movie Review


Living – Movie Review

Director: Oliver Hermanus

Writer: Kazuo Ishiguro (Screenplay)


Plot: In 1950s London, a humourless civil servant decides to take time off work to experience life after receiving a grim diagnosis.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Living starts as we meet a humourless civil servant Mr Williams (Nighy). He works with a dedicated team who have respect for his work. Peter Wakeling (Sharp) gets a job in his office and is excited at the opportunity. However, Mr Williams gets some shocking news that he doesn’t have long to live.

Mr Williams ends up skipping work and stepping outside of his typical routine. He starts dedicating his time to getting to know his employees, breaking out of the world he has found himself trapped in.

Verdict on Living


Mr Williams is a hard-working civil servant who has dedicated his life to his career. He is seen as very cold and humourless to everyone else; despite being softly spoken. When he learns that he is dying soon, he starts to open up his eyes to the world more. He starts to get to know his team and looks to complete certain pieces of work that were once ignored.

Peter Wakeling is the newest member of the team. He wants to learn from Mr Williams and must learn from the rest of the team first. Peter shows his enthusiasm to be involved in this work and what he saw in the change during his later years.

Margaret Harris is a young woman who works for Mr Williams. She is eager to move up in her career and becomes the person Mr Williams confines in about his health. Miss Harris deals with different problems in her chase for a career, however, her meetings with Mr Williams give her hope.

We do get to meet the other members of the team, they have worked with Mr Williams for different amounts of time. They all have a story to tell about the change they saw in him and the example he makes to them.


Bill Nighy is brilliant in this movie. He easily gives one of his best-ever performances and one of the best performances of the year. It is such a simple softly spoken role, that makes the biggest impact. The supporting cast is fantastic too, with Alex Sharp and Aimee Lou Wood showing themselves as bright stars for the future.


The story follows a dedicated civil service worker who learns he is going to die soon. He decides to look at his life and make the most of his final moments to leave a lasting message to his team and the people in his life.

This is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru changing the culture to be an English background. There is a big message about doing everything you can to help make life different for the people around you. To make it better for them, give them a chance to be special in life. The reflective style of seeing what Mr Williams did to his team proves that he made a difference, which is all he ever wanted. This is a movie that will stick with you, the message is amazing and thought-provoking.

Living is on digital on 3 March and Blu-ray & DVD on 13 March 2023

Final Thoughts Living Is a brilliant movie, with an excellent message and sublime performances from Bill Nighy.

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