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Overall Rating
3.51

Awesome37.84%
Worth A Look: 27.03%
Just Average: 5.41%
Pretty Crappy: 8.11%
Sucks: 21.62%

2 reviews, 25 user ratings


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Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"He lives in Glasgow. Wouldn't you want to kill yourself, too?"
4 stars

Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig scored with her last picture, "Italian for Beginners," which depicted some hapless types fumbling their way through lives that were humorous but tinged with sadness. Her new film, "Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself," attempts many of the same ideas, but is less successful at it.

It is set in Glasgow, where the North family owns a used-book shop. The father having died recently, oldest son Harbour (Adrian Rawlins) now runs it, while simultaneously trying to watch over his brother, Wilbur (Jamie Sives), who, as you may have heard, wants to kill himself.

Wilbur makes half-hearted attempts at suicide every now and then, always winding up with a bitter group of fellow suicidals who comprise a rather non-supportive support group at the hospital. It is on the advice of group leader Moira (Julia Davis) that Wilbur moves in with his brother, upstairs of the bookshop.

Meanwhile, there is a janitor at the hospital named Alice (Shirley Henderson), a single mom with a young daughter. Alice keeps any discarded books she can find around the hospital and sells them at the brothers' store occasionally, hence becoming familiar with Harbour and Wilbur both, more so when she interrupts one of Wilbur's attempts (a hanging, this time). She and Harbour get married, only to discover Harbour has health problems too, more physical than mental.

Scherfig (who co-wrote the screenplay with Anders Thomas Jensen) is onto something here. The film has the elements of either a weeping tragedy or a dark comedy, yet somehow finds a middle route that makes it neither. The film is matter-of-fact about most things, except when the facts would be unbearably sad, in which case Scherfig lightens them.

It is an interesting approach to this subject matter, and I find the story involving enough, but it doesn't really go anywhere. Wilbur's slow ascent out of depression isn't given the weight it would need to make the film a character study, and the peripheral elements -- various supporting characters who fall in and out of love, mostly -- contribute only a flavor, not a full-blown entree. It's certain parts of the film that I enjoy -- all three lead performances, for example, and some of the snarky dialogue employed by perpetually grumpy Wilbur -- rather than the film as a whole.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=7770&reviewer=247
originally posted: 05/28/04 02:14:30
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sydney Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sydney Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/25/09 Deano it was ok 3 stars
10/17/08 mehmet erdem Řanl worthless amalgam of unlovable characters and a really tepid script 1 stars
11/06/06 I.M. therefore good film 5 stars
6/15/06 bikem sešen absolutely lovely-bittersweet 5 stars
4/26/04 Terry Peck Worthless - start with a script like this and where can t go? Why give it any stars at all? 1 stars
4/16/04 Wayne Hamilton If you can't enjoy this film you're too serious, jack. 5 stars
4/16/04 Cameron Slick A cleverly cynical, morbidly humorous comedy about death. 4 stars
1/27/04 irena good, "nice" movie if you have some spare time 3 stars
11/08/03 Emelie i loved the film, specally jamie! 5 stars
11/08/03 judith menzel what a horribly pretending-to-be-human film! 2 stars
10/15/03 Lisa I really enjoyed this movie! 5 stars
10/14/03 Clare Very, very good 5 stars
9/20/03 Sandra AWESOME!!! BRILLIANT!!! BEAUTIFUL!!! 5 stars
8/23/03 RGM BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/17/03 BW Typcial dry Northern European humour which some people clearly just don't get 5 stars
8/08/03 Sarah Jamie Sives won't be an unknown for long. 5 stars
7/31/03 Rose A nice change from huge hollywood fare. 5 stars
7/30/03 Katrine I reckon that the movie is great, Jamie Davis does a great job playing the part of Wilbur.. 5 stars
7/29/03 Dr Nick Appalling acting........and the rest of the film isn't much better 2 stars
7/22/03 RICKO A quirky film, dark yet disquietly funny. Marvellous characters& a good ending. 4 stars
7/13/03 Joe pretty good 5 stars
6/29/03 BjarneBoy LOVE IT :) 5 stars
6/27/03 Olive Beaton Liked it! Gentle, inoffensive, left warm feeling. Sorry not to be 'clever' like the smar 4 stars
6/25/03 erika i love the actors 4 stars
6/15/03 Jerry Eh? 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  12-Mar-2004 (R)
  DVD: 28-Dec-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  31-Jul-2003




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