Wilbur Begar Selvmord
written by Lone Scherfig, Anders Thomas Jensen
directed by Lone Scherfig
by Walter Chaw Uncompromising yet surprisingly gentle for all that, Lone Scherfig's Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself is an unmannered character drama about Wilbur (Jamie Sives), despondent and suicidal after the death of his father; Wilbur's older brother, Harbour (Adrian Rawlins), who's taking the family's loss much better; and Harbour's new wife, Alice (the self-swallowing, eternally imploding Shirley Henderson), who finds love for the first time only to find it again in her husband's mordant brother. A psychiatric support group is funny in predictably quirky ways (though its resolution in an icy drink mines surprise from the premise), while Wilbur's evolution from self-obsessed asshole into less of a self-obsessed asshole is done with an observational humour veering on the brilliant. And for all the embracing of topics of life and death, there is remarkably little that rings false or strident. Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself is a great black comedy in the vein of Harold & Maude or The Loved One and an announcement, if one were needed, that Scherfig--after her oxymoronically "kind" Dogme film Italian for Beginners--may be the best director of dark romantic comedies going. Originally published: October 11, 2003.