A new Michael Winterbottom film. Hurrah thought I. He has quite a mix of work under his belt, what will he do next? Everyday sounded intriguing charting the relationship of a married couple (John Simm and Shirley Henderson) over several years while Simm's unnamed character is in prison.
Apparently it was filmed over several years with the actors reuniting and shooting chronological sequences so that they age with the film, something that seems particularly pertinent with the couples four children.
It is both well done and frustrating. Everyday sums it up well, it is almost like the cameras have followed the everyday ins and outs of the couples relationship, it's naturalistic approach is almost like a fly on the wall documentary.
This is realism turned up to the max. There are no big dramas this is a regular family and relationship struggle and while fascinating and refreshing I'm not sure it's quite what I go to cinema to see, particularly as there is so much drama going on in real peoples lives that would make for more interesting film fodder.
While in one respect our judgement of Simm's character is not clouded by knowing what he's in prison for - it must have been something quite bad because he's in for several years - it does leave his character a bit colourless.
I don't think the focus purely on the relationship is enough. There is stuff happening on the periphery which I so much wanted to be explored. For example out of the blue we hear Simm's character telling his wife that he got caught smuggling some weed back into prison after day release and all we get is his apology to his wife and saying that he was made to do it by another inmate.
Likewise Henderson's character confesses to having had an affair while her husband was inside but other than the man in question appearing at the bar where she works, giving her a lift home and being seen having lunch with her and kids we aren't given anything else.
The experience isn't helped by some awful music that seemed far to dramatic and out of place for what was actually going on. I've never been annoyed by film music before but this made me clench my teeth every time it started to play.
What I did like is the natural performances, particularly from the kids but I question the merit of an hour and 45 minutes of close up on a relationship that doesn't really explain a great deal. I feel slightly hypocritical because I do get frustrated with how contrived a lot of films are but this feels like it has swung too far back the other way. There were a lot of unexplored interesting angles.
I'm going to give it 45%. It isn't yet rated on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes.