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  • Gareth Crook

A Day in a Life 2020 (2021) - 4/10

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Following on from Life in a Day from 2010, we’re now back again with an update, the 2020 version. Directed by Kevin McDonald again and executive produced by Ridley Scott (who I’m sure did sod all). It’s essentially the same idea repeated. People film stuff themselves (324,000 videos we’re told at the start), all shot on 25th July 2020, uploaded to YouTube and Kevin sticks it all together in some meaningful way. I can’t remember a damn thing about the last one and ask me about this in 10 years... or maybe next month and I’ll have forgotten. It’s not that it’s crap. There’s some exquisite content here and it’s interesting while you’re watching it. But with no context given to the material, it’s mere forgettable wallpaper. Some of it very nice wallpaper, shot beautifully in 4K, or underwater or a in staggering amount of drone shots. It does it’s best with a dramatic start, a montage of women in labour and sunrises as cities wake up. Cows are milked, roosters crow, the world prepares for the day. It’s fun, frivolous, a bit quirky. Most of the clips are cut too tight to truly enjoy, but there are some sequences left to breathe a little easier. In general the tone is kept light, hopeful, everyone sharing their best selves, with even the sadder moments kept brief. We get proposals and weddings, lots of masks and social distancing of course. Shot in 2020 this is inevitable and in a way that makes it a little more interesting as a document. We’ve had the births and marriages, Covid covers the death quota and it gets a lot of screen time, but all the big events of the year are here, the BLM marches and trouble in America does in many ways appear to carry the most weight. Ultimately it’s a love letter to life, to humanity. I’m not sure it’s really much of a success in summing us up or summing up one day in July, but it’s pohsitive and that should probably be celebrated.



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