This Week’s Recommendation: Still Life

24 Dec 2020

Still Life


2013, 92 mins, English language

Directed by Uberto Pasolini    

Any film starring Eddie Marsan is usually well worth viewing and this is certainly no exception.  Uberto Pasolini’s very sparse and precise direction, won him best director and best film at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.

Mark Kermode in the Observer describes the film thus:

“There are few faces more forlorn than that of Eddie Marsan in this painfully melancholic tale of half-lives and lonely deaths. He plays John May, a civil servant whose thankless job is to locate relatives of the recently deceased and perpetually unloved. To his superiors (and indeed everyone else), these poor unfortunates are just numbers, but John takes an all-too-personal interest in their passing – lovingly pasting their photos into his own family albums, while eating tuna and toast at home alone. Facing his final case, John embarks on an odyssey through the land of the living that brings him into contact with the fractured friends and acquaintances of a previously unnoticed neighbour. It’s touching stuff, Rachel Portman’s plaintive score plucking endearingly at our heartstrings, Marsan’s worried demeanor dripping with an almost Chaplinesque sense of pathos. For a while, it seems as though we’re heading toward cliched resolution in the form of Joanne Froggatt’s angel of grace. But I was unprepared for the transcendent final moments, which left me suddenly and unexpectedly in tears.”

Full film notes available in the Twickenham & Richmond Tribune -

 Still Life can be streamed from Amazon Prime and Curzon Home Cinema plus the discs are available from Amazon and others.

Presented by Richmond Film Society