It is ostensibly a comedy about suicide, but that description only scratches the surface. It tells the tale of two 30-something brothers who own a run down second-hand bookshop. As can happen with brothers, they are close but do not, or cannot, communicate their feelings to one another. They are played with real pathos and understanding by Jamie Sives and the criminally undervalued Adrian Rawlins (who some may recognise as Harry Potter’s faither).
The writing by Anders Thomas Jensen is immaculate, and, considering the subject matter, never becomes mawkish or sentimental. Director Lone Scherfig uses Glasgow as the perfect background for the protagonists to live their lives, giving it a mildly surreal quality, but the focus is always on the story and characters, which is surprisingly rare when you think about it.
This is a difficult film to categorise, which for me is always a good thing. This is highlighted by the two very different trailers that were made for it. One is an extraordinarily misleading, Hollywood style, trailer with ‘voice-over man’ attempting to sell it as some sort of Richard Curtis rom/com. Here’s the more suitable trailer:
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