James Norton and Daniel Lamont are superb in this heartfelt drama about a single father determined to do the best by his son before he dies.
John (Norton), a 35-year-old window cleaner, lives with his three-year-old son Michael. He was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and has decided that he will find the best family to take Michael in after his death. Against the advice of the adoption agency he’s working with, John cannot face telling his son the truth, taking him on visits to prospective families under the guise of visiting new friends. But as his condition starts to show, he begins to ponder what his legacy should be for his son – should Michael start life anew or should John leave him with the tools that would allow him, later in life, to know the father he had.
As with his previous feature Still Life, writer-director Uberto Pasolini draws from a well of understatement. More a snapshot of two lives than covering the full arc of John’s journey, the film succeeds in being deeply affecting without resorting to sentimentality. Norton and Lamont help immeasurably – their affection for each other on screen convincing in every way.