26 September 2023

Nowhere Special

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Reviewed by Hannah Spencer.

Director: Uberto Pasolini, Luck Red, 2022, M, 96mins.

Devoted single father John has terminal cancer and must find a new family to adopt his young son Michael.

A gut-wrenching premise, however Nowhere Special is heartwarming rather than heartbreaking.

Set and shot in Belfast, this small-scale film is an intimate and touching portrayal of the relationship between a father and son.

John is a stoic window washer who has raised his son alone since Michael’s mother walked out on them soon after the birth.

He patiently combs nits from Michael’s hair and walks him hand-in-hand to school each day.

Between cherishing these domestic moments, John and Michael visit potential new families for the young boy. Some rich, some quirky, and one quite obviously hoping for a child to fix their dysfunctional marriage.

Driven by the need to find the perfect family and provide the best possible future for Michael, John is crippled with indecision and running out of time.

The understated performance from James Norton (McMafia) as the stoic John is mesmerising.

He is perfectly matched by newcomer Daniel Lamont as 4-year-old Michael (also possibly the cutest child in the world).

Gentle and poignant, this beautifully shot film does not revel in the sadness of John’s cancer or ever dissolve into sentimentality.

It instead focuses on the precious moments that make up this special father/son relationship.

It is a bittersweet gift of a film.

4 out of 5 stars

Screening Nationally

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