Actors: Shirley Henderson, John Simm
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
Number of discs: 1
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
DVD Release Date: April 8, 2014
Run Time: 90 minutes
Filmmaker Michael Winterbottom is not afraid to try new methods in his filmmaking process, even when they often work better in theory than in practice. Whether jumping back and forth from mainstream
cinema to small independents, narrative features to documentaries, or simply
making a movie that controversially utilizes un-simulated sex scenes from his
lead actors, Winterbottom has been a fearless filmmaker willing to take
chances. Everyday is built upon yet
another unique method of filmmaking, which once again proves far more
interesting than the end result.
With an overly simplistic plot, it is the filmmaking process of Everday which stands out most, highlighting the film’s weaknesses along with any assets. Filmed over the course of five years with a cast that includes small children, we are given a realistic portrait of the passage of time, which is significant with a film about a family dealing with the prison sentence of its patriarch. Ian (John Simm) is already in the middle of his prison sentence at the beginning of the film, convicted of drug smuggling. This isn’t a prison film, however, and we are only privy to the same moments that his visiting family witness during visitations and release. Instead, we stay tied to the narrative of the family that Ian has left on the outside, including his wife Karen (Shirley Henderson) and their four small children who grow over the course of the film.
This struggle is realistically portrayed, though not in any unexpected ways. Despite the added honesty in using children who are related to each other and allowed to grow over the course of the 90-minute running time, there is cliché predictability in the issues that Everyday tackles. Even as the performances feel honest and sincere, particularly from these young performers, every minimalist plot twist can be predicted long before it occurs. Very little actually happens, and all of it seems far too fleshed out for a film that took five years to create. It would seem that somewhere along the journey a better draft of a screenplay could have been created.
The DVD includes deleted and extended scenes, none of which do anything but prolong the inevitable conclusion that the film was dead-set on reaching. 90 minutes somehow manages to feel too long and not long enough at the same time, and it is clear that leaving this extra footage would have done little to change this result. There is also a trailer.
Entertainment Value: 4/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10
Historical Significance: 6/10
Special Features: 4/10