Review: The Life Of Riley

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Review: The Life Of Riley

The Life of Riley (Aimer, Boire et Chanter) the last film by cinema great Alain Resnais. It’s a film adaptation of the play by Alan Ayckbourn that is bereft of laughs or joy and just tries too hard.

The Life of Riley centres on the mysterious George who is never seen but spoken of by all the other characters. He’s dying of cancer, a fact inadvertently disclosed by his doctor to his wife and then all the members of the amateur dramatic company learn of George’s status. It transpires that George has been out with the three principal women and the remaining question is who will George take to Tenerife with him on his final holiday.

Resnais takes the idea of a play within a play told through the medium of film to a whole new level which fails to engage and seems so forced never more so than when the characters are filmed against a black and white background. Even by French standards this mixture of French actors pretending to be in Yorkshire and speaking in French but trying to pronounce English names is just painful to watch.

The Life of Riley is for die hard Resnais fans who want to see the last film by the late, great French director. It is in cinemas in the UK and Ireland from 6 March 2015. Otherwise if you really want to see an incredible film by Resnais then hunt down a copy of the 1959 Hiroshima Mon Amour.

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