DRAMA; 1hr 36min
STARRING: James Norton, Daniel Lamont
Bittersweet: Lamont and Norton
In writer-director Uberto Pasolini’s 2015 drama Still Life, Eddie Marsan played a London council worker who orchestrated the funerals of those who had died alone. Death has a seat at the table once again in the poignancy of Pasolini’s fact-inspired Nowhere Special, this time waiting in the wings.
Thirty-five-year-old Belfast window cleaner John (Happy Valley’s Norton) is a single father to four-year-old Michael (first-timer Lamont, cherub-cheeked, deeply serious and instantly endearing). John has brain cancer, and with time running out he is interviewing prospective new parents for a child too young to grasp the concept of his passing. “What am I meant to tell him?” he says bitterly. “That I’m in heaven sitting next to [the] same God who did this?”
It doesn’t help his desolating cause that John is a man of few words — as a means to an end, he has scant faith in them. And since the concept of perfect parents is an oxymoron to begin with, checking out candidates is an uphill task.
Pasolini comes at this potential vale of tears by steadfastly refusing to shed any: his level gaze is the delicate balance that John’s worsening plight calls for. The prospective parents run a gamut from hopeful to terrible, but it’s in the unassuming day-to-dayness of John and Michael’s time together that their quietly overwhelming love story makes its forever home.