Review | EO/Living | 2022
Despite the fact that remakes are not exactly scarce these days, it's still fairly rare to see a classics of world cinema like Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru or Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar get the remake treatment, let along two in as many months. While not technically a remake, Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski's EO takes heavy inspiration from Balthazar, while Oliver Hermanus' living is a more straightforward remake of Ikiru.
Living is likewise a more dour affair than Kurosawa's film. Bill Nighy steps in for Takashi Shimura as a man know simply as Mr. Williams, a mid-ranking government bureaucrat whose life as a cog in a slow-moving, inefficient wheel takes on a new urgency when he discovers that he only has a few months to live. He then sets about spending those months unclogging the system to pave the way for a long gestating playground project that had been caught in the gummed up works of his office. It's a small act, but one that has a greater impact on the world around him than his monotonous existence ever had before. That quest for meaning is what makes Ikiru such a universal film that still resonates deeply.
EO - ★★ (out of four)
LIVING - ★★ (out of four)
EO | Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski | Stars Sandra Drzymalska, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Isabelle Huppert | In Polish w/English subtitles | Now playing in limited release.LIVING | Directed by Oliver Hermanus | Stars Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Tom Burke | Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material and smoking | Opens December 23 in limited release.