Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself

Critics Consensus

Despite its morbid subject matter, Wilbur is a charming and often funny film.



Total Count: 79


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,260
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Movie Info

Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig, the writer and director of the 12th Dogme 95 film, 2000's critically acclaimed Italian for Beginners, presents this comedy drama starring Jamie Sives and Adrian Rawlins as brothers Wilbur and Harbour. When their mother died early in their lives, it became up to Harbour to keep tabs on Wilbur, the younger and chronically depressed of the two siblings. Now in their thirties, their father has passed away, leaving them to take over the family's used book store. It is there that they encounter Alice (Shirley Henderson), a hospital janitor who sells the books that patients leave behind, and her young, optimistic daughter, Mary (Lisa McKinlay). Together, the four form a bond that changes each of their lives, with Harbour falling in love with Alice and Mary's sunny demeanor giving the suicidal Wilbur a reason to live. The first English-language effort from Scherfig, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself was nominated for best film at Denmark's 2003 Bodil Awards.


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Critic Reviews for Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself

All Critics (79) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself

  • Dec 05, 2011
    Well, this was definitely a surprise! Dark, yes. Comedy, not so much. Really fantastic writing, and the slow development of characters that aren't contrived or condescending. Even as tired as I was while watching this, I could not stop watching. I found this story mesmerizing....well done.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2011
    It looks fine and the acting is good but 'Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself' doesn't work. The movie is manipulative and drenched in tedious sentimentality. Worst of all it isn't funny.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2008
    Mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, very original story and well cast (even Shirley Henderson is very good here. Not nearly as "screetchy" as normal - I am sure she puts that voice on!), also quite funny in a dark way thanks to Julia Davis (I can never take her seriously. I just see Jill from NIghty Night whenever I see her!). There was just something about the story itself that didn't sit quite right with me. It seemed horrible for Wilbur and Alice to be carrying on behind Harbour's back, and then the final scene seemed disrespectful to Harbour. I don't want to spell it all out and ruin it for those who have not seen this, but those who have will know what I mean. Perhaps I am missing the point, I am not sure...
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2008
    Danish dark-comedy travels to Scotland and becomes more dark and less funny but still very bizarre. Seeing Mads Mikkelsen probably had something to do with me remembering Anders Thomas Jensen movies while watching this, but even if I didn't know beforehand that it was Danish, I would have definetly guessed it was so, because of the weird characters. This is about two middle aged brothers, running a bookstore after their father passed. Harbour is the older and decent one, running the store while trying to prevent his brother Wilbur trying to kill himself. Their lifes change after a woman walks into the store and into their lifes. Interesting story, weird characters, very good score, decent directing, overall a good movie which is not for everyone.
    Serdar C Super Reviewer

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