Not nearly as depressing as the title might suggest, Wilbur is the story of two Glasgow book shop owners, Harbour (Adrian Rawlins) and his brother Wilbur (Jamie Sives). Wilbur is a habitual but unsuccessful suicide. Following a failed attempt shortly after the death of their father, Harbour persuades Wilbur to move in with him, where he can better protect him from himself. There, during another failed attempt, Wilbur is rescued by Alice (Shirley Henderson), a timid single mother who frequents the book shop to sell books she finds in her work as a hospital cleaner. A sweet, troubled love story follows, but it’s not the one you’d expect.
Although this isn’t a Dogme film like her previous feature, Italian For Beginners, director Lone Scherfig sticks to some of its tenets by showing the story in a simple, linear fashion, with a minimum of stylistic tricks, and a clear and honest focus on the characters. The cast are wholly believable, and never set a foot wrong. The screenplay is both uplifting and sad, and it finds quirky humour in the strangest of places. It made me laugh out loud, and it made me cry even after the film was over. It is just wonderful.