Critics' Pick

Everyday (NR)

Drama 106 November 22, 2013
By Alan Scherstuhl
Shot in bursts over five years so that its actors age with its characters, Michael Winterbottom's wise and involving Everyday specializes in unscripted-feeling moments that ache of life. Time for Karen (Shirley Henderson), a mother whose kids ripen before our eyes, and Ian (John Simm), her incarcerated husband, is a grind through small, unmemorable moments. With two jobs, plus four kids to wrangle to school each day, how could she ever have time for dramatic scenes? Her checking a toddler's diaper as they plod through browning British fields; the kids rehearsing for Christmas pageants; the increasingly distant older boys staring at TVs; the mad sweat and bustle of forced-marching this brood to visit dad in jail -- all edited to suggest just how much of herself Karen must burn to get through each day. And we see, with simultaneous dread and hope, Karen get asked out by a nice-seeming chap at a bar where she works. One day soon, her husband will be free. But she's spent the film until this point waiting and toiling, and the family's visits with the husband in lock-up -- and his occasional furlough -- suggest he's been stunted while everyone else has grown. Henderson's skin seems to harden as the years past -- her performance is a touching study in both perseverance and erosion. This is a film of accretion; the quick scraps we're shown heap into full, persuasive lives, something like the way flashes of memory cohere into your sense of a past: That was the year where every night I walked that street, took that bus, felt these things.
Michael Winterbottom Shirley Henderson, John Simm, Laurence Richardson, Johnny Lynch, Andy Callaghan, Nick Shaw, Wilson Deuxrod, Jimi James, Michael Argyrou Laurence Coriat, Michael Winterbottom


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