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3.3 out of 5 stars19
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 November 2012
A spoiler-free review:

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the première of this film before it aired on Channel 4 last week, and have been hoping that it would be released on DVD. As a cinema feature it was almost overwhelming - on television, it was almost harrowingly intimate, and almost like a docudrama in feel.

As the previous reviewer noted, 'Everyday' really does benefit from having been filmed over five real years - everyone ages and whilst the most notable changes are in the children (the youngest was in nappies when filming began and at school when it finished!)the passing of time is also reflected in the two adult leads - Shirley Henderson stops looking quite so much like a teenager who could almost be an older sibling and more like a lonely and careworn mother; John Simm's hair gets greyer and his face more angular. That the four children were real-life siblings and the filming done in their own home really lends the whole thing such a natural feel that you instantly accept them as a family, and although none of the children had acted before they behave naturally with Shirley as their mum Karen. They also behave with natural shyness and wariness around John's character Ian when they go to visit him in prison (three real prisons were used in filming and many of the extras were real prisoners, the warders real prison employees)and the stilted conversation on both sides just feels so real it makes you want to cry for them all. Ian may not have a lot to say in prison, but his utter desolation as he realises that he is missing his children growing up is always there in every long-distance phone call, every too-short visit, bubbling quietly and desperately under the surface.

The Norfolk landscape is a perfect backdrop (big skies, wide open spaces) and really does emphasise the difference between Ian's constricted life behind bars and his family's. We're never told what his crime was but there is an allusion to stealing on one prison visit when it's revealed that the two boys have been in trouble for stealing sweets. The real story of this film is the effect Ian's absence has on his family and on him. As a deterrent against crime, it's a wonderfully stark warning; as a love story and a real human drama (without the histrionics, slamming doors and action sequences we see so much of)it's a heartbreaking and ultimately beautiful affirmation of family and how important it is to hold on to what you value most.

But lest you think it's all tears and sad music, let me reassure you - there is humour, real natural humour, and the children are the focus of much of this, just by being children. They will warm every mother's heart (and probably a lot of dads', too - my husband thoroughly enjoyed it, as did my teenage son!).

There has been mention made in some press reviews of the music perhaps being a little too obvious at times - for my part, I found it gently supportive and very memorable, swelling or fading, changing mood with what was happening on screen.

In short, I can't recommend this film enough - Michael Winterbottom and John Simm never disappoint so please don't miss this beautiful drama.
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on 18 November 2012
The film appears to have been shot in Lincolnshire and Norfolk, much in the Stamford area, and focuses on one family over five years, as they wait for the father to be released from prison. This is not one of those depressing `true life' stories, but is a non-judgemental documentary style piece about a family living with an edge of expectation of what's round the corner, with real life pending for the moment. The film benefits from being shot over five years, as there are no changes of actors as the children age. John Simm and Shirley Henderson are completely believable ordinary parents, and the natural performances of the children, who are real-life siblings, help create the documentary feel.
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on 19 May 2014
I am a huge fan of John Simm and I try to catch up with his work all the way from Greece (where I live) by buying the odd DVD. I came across Everyday and wasn't really sure that it would be my cup of tea. I had the impression it would be depressing, if anything. In the end, I gave it a try and I am delighted that I did. The film was anything BUT depressing. To start with, the fact that it was filmed over a number of years, added to the believability factor of this amazing family story, watching as the children grew up over time. It was an amazing trick by the creators that by the end of the movie, made the spectator feel like part of the family too. And how can you not feel involved? Filmed in a 'fly on the wall documentary' kind of way, with the camera work making it look like a home movie in other places, you couldn't help but get reeled in, mesmerized. During intimate scenes, it almost felt like voyerism between two real people; I was THAT involved in this incredibly realistic and moving family tale. I can't think of another movie that ever made me feel so emotionally involved. For one, I laughed and went 'aawww' to watch the kiddies during their antiques or silly emotional moments. But most of all, I felt appalled at the inhumane prison system that won't grant a couple some intimacy over the years. No matter the crime, surely, one should not deprive two people who have children and a home together this sacred right. In this sense, whatever can follow as a result to real people's lives out there is of no surprise at all. I think if anything, the film's mission was to highlight that and the unfair impact this can have on people's lives. This movie left me with a plelthora of feelings but most of all, it left me with the feelings of joy and relief that this family, somehow, made it. The uplifting, inspiring music also made this film. As for the reason why I got hold of this movie in the first place, now I have a new favourite among John Simm's roles and I am so glad that he made this film! His talent, simply shines through here! Everyone was amazing really. The frustrated yet loving wife and every single one of those delightful, talented children. A masterpiece of film making! Highly recommended!
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on 20 May 2013
Winterbottom's films are always semi-documentaries and this is no exception. Shot in real time over five years, it tells the story of one family whose father is in prison, serving a five-year prison sentence. We see the family make the journey to visit him in prison and the struggle to maintain intimacy with his wife and children during that time. Brilliantly cast and acted, it is a very moving and realistic portrayal of a family struggling to stay together under difficult circumstances.
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on 18 April 2013
English screenwriter, producer and director Michael Winterbottom`s nineteenth feature film which he co-wrote with French screenwriter Laurence Coriat, premiered in the Shows section at the 39th Telluride Film Festival in 2012, was screened in the Masters section at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on location in Norfolk, England over a period of five years and is a United Kingdom production which was produced by producer Melissa Parmenter. It tells the story about a woman named Karen who lives in a house in a rural county in the East of England with her sons named Shaun and Robert and daughters named Stephanie and Katrina. Karen`s husband named Ian whom she and his children are waiting to get back home has been in prison for several years and is serving his sentence.

Distinctly and finely directed by UK filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from the mother, father and children`s viewpoints, draws a tangible and intimate portrayal of four children who are missing their father and a hard working mother whom is struggling to hold her family together whilst regularly visiting her man who is incarcerated. While notable for its naturalistic milieu depictions, sterling cinematography by cinematographers James Clarke, Sean Bobbitt, Marcel Zyskind, Simon Tindall and Anne Marie Lean Vercoe, use of sound and realism, this narrative-driven story where the continuity is created by repetitions and abrupt editing depicts two interrelated studies of character and contains a great score by English composer Michael Nyman.

This atmospheric, conversational and romantic drama about an English family which is set in the county of Norfolkin the East of England and where a matrimony is challanged by the distance that has and is keeping a husband and wife apart due to his past criminal actions, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, natural humor and dialog, ordinary and charming characters, the modest and sincere acting performances by English actor John Simm, Scottish actress Shirley Henderson and the pivotal acting performances by the child actors and actresses. A lyrical, compassionate, mindful and heartrending labour of love from a great European filmmaker which gained the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film at the 23rd Stockholm International Film Festival in 2012.
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on 27 April 2013
I give this 2 stars just for the acting of the children they were all from the same family and they were just so good. The story line was a bit bland but the most annoying factor was the very loud music it blasted out so very often during the course of the film one was unable to hear the conversation. It was a shame and a waste of John Simm as his films are really top notch.Maisie
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on 18 July 2015
An excellent real time story about a family struggling to survive with the father in prison and the mother working two jobs. The difficulties of single parenthood and the loneliness of the long distance prison visitor, are well presented without melodrama. The kids are all superb, as are the leads, a sweet film all round.
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on 5 May 2013
A sweet, realistic and touching family story. A film willing to look at how time passes without the usual prison-movie melodrama. It's the depth that John Simm and Shirley Henderson bring to their roles that stands out and makes each moment worth hanging on to.
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on 3 July 2013
Very good film with magnificent actors. My only remark is that I would have appreciated if it had subtitles in English. It makes it easier to follow absolutely every word spoken.
Michael Winterbottom's original approach is deep and moving.
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on 23 December 2013
It was a relief that all worked out well for this troubled family.
Not to everyone's taste but if you are interested in inter-personal relationships,
worth watching.
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