Movie Review: Eddie Marsan is a cardboard saint in the sentimental Still Life

The protagonist of Still Life, a colorless and ultimately cloying film from writer-director Uberto Pasolini, is a London social worker assigned to deal with the dead. He searches for the next of kin of those who have passed away alone, and when no one turns up, as is usually the case, he makes sure these forgotten people receive their moment of recognition, orchestrating funerals that no one attends but him. The faintly deadpan fable, which portrays the borough of Kennington as a drab row of buildings, opens with a procession of these religious services, cutting from one to another as the local-council employee humbly pays his respects to the deceased. Several scenes later, it emerges that John May is alone both on the job and off the clock in his modest flat, where he sits in silence as he eats his bachelor’s supper of tuna and toast. (Pasolini is …

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