Newest Reviews
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Power of the Dog, The
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
  Nowhere Special Look To The Future
Year: 2020
Director: Uberto Pasolini
Stars: James Norton, Daniel Lamont, Eileen O'Higgins, Valerie O'Connor, Valene Kane, Keith McErlean, Sean Sloan, Siobhan McSweeney, Chris Corrigan, Niamh McGrady, Stella McCusker, Rhoda Ofori-Attah, Nigel O'Neill, Mark Asante, Bernadette Brown, Caolan Byrne
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: John (James Norton) is a Northern Irish window cleaner whose partner left him mere months after giving birth to their son, Michael (Daniel Lamont), so he has had to bring up the child on his own. Or at least, that was the idea, but now John has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and will not be around to see his boy grow up, and he is deeply worried about how his son will cope, as he is at nursery school age and may not understand why his daddy has to leave him forever. He tries to keep life as normal as possible, but that is growing ever more difficult, and the matter of who will adopt Michael is becoming more and more pressing...

You imagine, from reading that introduction, if you feel the tears welling up in your eyes without even seeing the film then you will probably be in floods from the first minute if you do decide to give it a try, as while it was understated for the most part, it could not resist being sentimental on a basic level, with the mention it was based on a true story guaranteed to make the audience feel even sadder knowing it happened after a fashion in real life. Indeed, it was akin to a nineteen-fifties Hollywood weepie, the sort of thing Margaret Sullavan might have appeared in, in the way it somewhat ruthlessly aimed for the tear ducts, except Margaret would never have played a window cleaner.

Northern Irish or otherwise. Norton had a tricky job here, as we can see that John wants to hug the little boy until it's past the point of no return and he has to go, but that would alert Michael that something was badly wrong, so he has to sustain the air of normality, no grand gestures whatsoever. As the title says, he doesn't take the kid to Disneyland or anything, couldn't if he was able, anyway, so they just go nowhere special, keep it low key so as not to upset the child as all the while his father's life is falling down around his ears. The director was Uberto Pasolini, best known as a producer (The Full Monty was his biggest hit in that capacity), and you may observe a note of Ken Loach here.

Yet despite the setting, you could also discern a strong note of Italian neo-realism in this, making the drama as authentic as possible but in that classic style, not being afraid to elicit the big emotions, in the audience if not the characters as a signature shot will be of the cast holding back the tears but nobody actually breaks down, especially not when Michael is present. The narrative took the form of John visiting a succession of potential foster parents as he becomes obsessed with finding the right home for the boy, painfully aware that if he makes the wrong decision in who looks after him it could mess up his life worse than his father dying when he is small. They visit some good people, but there's always an issue that stops John from committing fully to handing the kid over to them with a clear conscience.

That said, it is rather obvious which one he will choose, as while the others are grounded in a kind of reality, some are more harassed than others, one couple is plain weird (in a tragic way), and another makes the mistake of dissing dogs when Michael has expressed the wish to own a puppy. The cynical may not appreciate being manipulated so blatantly here, but you cannot say you were not warned, and the determinedly mundane circumstances contrast with the crushed feelings everyone is trying and failing to avoid, so there is a truth to what we see, aside from the odd misstep (John's revenge on a nasty customer comes across as out of character, for example). But at the heart of it was coming to terms with death, its inevitability, and its unfairness when singling out who goes and when, as John is only in his mid-thirties, not to mention the effect on Michael who we suspect knows more about what is going on than he is given credit for. Basically, if you wanted a good cry, this was shameless in allowing you that indulgence and there was a sweet note of hope struck at the close - life goes on. Sad guitar and piano music by Andrew Simon McAllister.

[Nowhere Special - In Cinemas from 16th July 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 591 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: