Still Life: Mourning Has Broken
Marsan plays John May, a mild-mannered public servant who dutifully arranges for the burial or cremation of those recently departed with no family or friends. That May himself is a solitary individual with no apparent family or friends is among the film’s genteel ironies. He even keeps an album of photos of his “clientele.”
When he loses his job, May becomes intent on finishing his last assignment, regarding one William Stoke. Whether it be a final battle, mission, heist or simply the matter of tracking down a single individual’s history, in the world of film it’s bound to be a profound, lifechanging experience “” and so it is here.
The pleasures of Still Life aren’t limited to Marsan’s gently appealing performance.
Joanne Froggatt (of “Downton Abbey”) plays Stoke’s long-estranged daughter Kelly, who predictably takes a bit of a shine to John “” and he to her.
Rachel Portman’s score and Stefabo Falievene’s cinematography offer aural and visual augmentation to a wistful, ultimately lightweight tale. Alas, the story’s final, bittersweet irony isn’t so much whimsy as flimsy “” a little too precious for its own good.
Still Life opens Friday at Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema, Greensboro. !
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