Film Review: Nowhere Special

Father and son

For centuries, adoption has been a taboo subject in the UK and Ireland. It has been something patriarchal societies did to women, often against their will, when they gave birth out of wedlock. A device used by rich men to hide away their ‘little accidents’. Today, the stigma may have subsided but it hasn’t disappeared, although the choice is now (at least) usually in the hands of the prospective mother. However, in Nowhere Special, a father wrestles with finding his son a new family.

John (James Norton) is a 35-year-old window cleaner and single dad. After the boy’s mother walked out on them and returned to Russia he’s been looking after Michael (Daniel Lamont) on his own. However, with only a few months left to live, John’s desperate to find the perfect family for his young son and give him the opportunities in life which he was never afforded. As the clock ticks down this responsibility begins to take its toll.  

Nowhere Special is a moving portrait of a man wrestling with a decision which he feels incapable of making. Uberto Pasolini’s film works so well because it concentrates on the minutiae. The small joys and challenges in everyday life. Avoiding melodrama and allowing Norton to give the performance of his life as a troubled father. Much of the film centres around this dilemma and his inability to let go. Nowhere Special is a sensitive and quietly powerful drama.

Nowhere Special is out in cinemas from 17 July.

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