Festival alumni Michael Winterbottom returns with an
affecting time capsule-view of a family divided.
EVERYDAY, prolific UK director Michael Winterbottom's
latest film, sews together tales of family bonding, creating a
EVERYDAY is an engaging tale of commitment, longing and
relationships. Ian (John Simm) is in prison - for reasons unclear,
but possibly drug-related - and he has left behind his big-hearted
wife Karen (Shirley Henderson) and four children (played by real
life siblings Robert, Shaun, Katrina and Stephanie Kirk). It is an
account of their years without the man of the house, their
struggles and how they cope with growing up and the issues that
come with it.
As the story depicts a family carrying on with their lives while
waiting for Ian to return, Winterbottom cleverly used the concept
of time by shooting the film over five years. The siblings'
physical growth is something that keeps audience intrigued through
till the end. Karen's changing hairstyles along with the appearance
of wrinkles and Ian's evolving physique are other accounts of the
time capsule that Winterbottom places his audience in. There are
hit-or-miss moments where the audience' minds are meddled with, but
soothed soon after with affirmative performances by the Ferguson
(Kirk) siblings. Ian's constant in-and-outs with prison create some
confusion occasionally. Karen finds other ways to pass time and
make ends meet, but then again why wouldn't she considering Ian's
been sentenced extra time in prison for smuggling in drugs. The
consequences of these troubles reflect on the kids, with Stephanie
dating at age 10 (a 7-year-old boy that Ian jokingly calls her 'toy
boy'), Robert growing distant, Katrina becoming incessantly shy and
Shaun becoming an emotional mess.
EVERYDAY has Michael Winterbottom's distinct
directorial style written all over it. With picturesque postcard
style landscaped juxtaposed cleverly with hasty handy-cam
close-ups, this film instantly transports the audience to the
typical English countryside. Michael Nyman introduces another
dimension to the film with his invigorating score which adds to the
element of routine that Winterbottom aims to achieve. The bold,
goose bump-inducing music could very well be the glue that holds
EVERYDAY together. The scenes with the kids eating cereal,
brushing their teeth and going to school are repeated throughout
the film, bringing a sense of continuity. To add to the
experimental mise-en-scene, clever lighting (or the lack of it)
with long pauses in dialogue delivery and slow cuts make it seem
like the director almost expects the audience to wait longer and
adapt to the slow pace of the film. But although it may be slow,
EVERYDAY is beautiful in its own twisted way.
EVERYDAY screens at VOX Cinemas, Marina Mall on Tuesday
16 October at 4:15 pm.