Nowhere Special – Film Review

We all know that being a single parent isn’t easy, especially if you have no other friends or family to go to when in need of help. For 35-year-old single father John, this is the case, but he is wholly dedicated to raising his four-year-old son, Michael. In a cruel twist, John is diagnosed with a terminal illness, is given only months to live, and is forced to find someone to adopt his son.

Set in Northern Ireland, throughout Nowhere Special, written, directed, and produced by Uberto Paoslini, we see several scenes with John and Michael sharing everyday moments that would seem insignificant to most. John is struggling to come to terms with the future of his beloved son and it is truly gut-wrenching to watch. But John must also visit and test the waters for potential parents that will adopt Michael, a task I wouldn’t want to imagine doing. Through this we meet a vast array of parents, from rich couples to large families with several adopted children, it’s a very eye-opening situation to witness and makes you feel for John, who’s already dealing with so much.

Daniel Lamont stars as the doe-eyed Michael, a quiet, innocent little boy. His performance was quite good for such a young actor, only 6-years-old at the time of filming, however I did struggle to understand some of his lines at times. Paired with the outstanding performance from James Norton in the pivotal role as John, Michael’s father, the two really seem to have a true bond and natural chemistry that translates so well on screen. 

Nowhere Special is an emotional journey dealing with parenting, adoption, love, and death. The story is quite simple, but the film moves very slowly with lots of intimate lulls featuring John and Michael. While some moments are incredibly moving, others unfortunately at times just feels like forced padding, trying to make the film reach its 90-minute quota. Nowhere Special is absolutely a touching and moving story, but the film tries a little too hard to pull at the heart strings. I understand that Nowhere Special is based on true events, however given all the doom and gloom in the world at the moment, the film is possibly the victim of bad timing with its release.

Not all films are meant to be feel-good experiences. But if you love your dramas with depth and value movies that can move you to tears, then Nowhere Special is worth seeing.

Nowhere Special releases in all good cinemas in Australia from March 24.

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