Nowhere Special

by Uberto Pasolini

A single father dedicates the last few months of his life to finding a new family for his four-year-old son.

John, a 35-year-old window cleaner, has dedicated his life to bringing up his 4-year-old son, Michael, after the child's mother left them soon after giving birth. When John is given only a few months left to live, he attempts to find a new, perfect family for Michael, determined to shield him from the terrible reality of the situation. Although initially certain of what he is looking for in the perfect family, John gradually abandons his early convictions, overwhelmed by doubts on the decision. How can he judge a family from a brief encounter? And does he know his own child well enough to make this choice for him? As John struggles to find the right answer to his impossible task, he comes to accept the help of a young social worker, opening himself to solutions he would never have considered. And he finally comes to accept his anger at the injustice of his destiny, the need to share the truth with his son, and to follow the child's instincts on the biggest decision of their lives.

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / English / 95 minutes
Original title
Nowhere Special
directed by
director of photography
Marius Panduru
screenplay by
produced by
Picomedia SRL, Nowhere Special Ltd, Digital Cube SRL, in association with Rai Cinema
  • James Norton (LITTLE WOMEN, MCMAFIA)
  • Daniel Lamont

Press Quotes

"James Norton tries to find a home for his young boy in Uberto Pasolini's tender tearjerker."
"A sensory experience."
"A keenly sympathetic performance by James Norton."
"Gorgeous Daniel Lamont."
"Norton and Lamont have an easy, cheerful rapport in scenes which can be largely silent but never oppressive."
"When we demand that cinema opens up to under-represented voices, John is one of them: white, poor, uneducated, alone, and with a troubled past. It's perhaps odd on paper that he would be played by an actor like Norton, but it's also hard, having seen it, to imagine who would do a better job."
"Pasolini and DoP Marius Panduru have an eye for the nondescript in every-day life and draw a pleasing visual symmetry from locations which would look ordinary under any other lens."
Screen International

"Uberto Pasolini brings tenderness to the Italian festival, with a story about a young father who learns how to let go."
"Nowhere Special has its heart in the right place."

"A beautiful and exceptionally moving experience."
"The world may well be forever grateful that [Pasolini took] this meticulous approach, as this latest project proves to be a gut-wrenching drama exploring the delicate themes of loss, family values and death."
"Based on a true story, Nowhere Special grabs you from the opening scenes."
"Norton shows yet again how far his talents go. His on-screen partnership with the adorable Lamont is lovely to behold, as authentic as any father-son relationship can be. It's this that makes the tale so powerful."
"Pasolini approaches the subject of bereavement and passing onto a different place so beautifully, presenting the greatest level of complexity possible through the inclusion of the innocent and unknowing Michael, whilst at the same time elevating scenes with very little dialogue through exceptionally moving direction."
"Expressive, sensitive and incredibly touching."
The Upcoming

"Norton's performance in Nowhere Special is not only a culmination of the last ten years of talent and skill as a performer, but it is also an outstanding piece of cinema that will destroy and inspire any and all who have the privilege of watching it."
"A superb drama that chronicles the intricacies of morality and the depths of fatherhood in such esteemed and brutally emotional fashion."
"Utilising a kitchen-sink-inspired dynamic of a working-class Irish family, not too dissimilar to the works of Ken Loach or Mike Leigh in a restrained and wickedly efficacious manner, adds not only a heightened engagement factor due to its organic and authentic design, but also crafts an unflinching portrait of the harshness of morality."
"It is the subtle pause and reflection from Norton, or even the glimmer of hope in his eye, in his depiction that elevates this material ten-fold. The film revels in the smaller intimate moments."
"Then there is the performance of Daniel Lamont which goes toe to toe with Norton's in emotional pull and conviction."
"Written in such an unpretentious manner that it undeniably feels effortless."

"A superb James Norton."
"Great credit, in addition to the director, goes to Norton, capable of a subdued, subtracted one man show, which leaves no way out so much for him as for us."

"Beautiful and heartbreaking. Beautiful for the composed and elegant classicism with which he directs and films a man and a child; heartbreaking because of the story. But more than the story itself the way that Pasolini tells it to us is striking. Virtually without tears, without melodramatic blackmail, without even the usual hospital procedures that explain the evolution of the disease: only the daily life of a father with his son and the efforts to find a family that through social services can adopt the child when he is not there will be more."
"A direction that skilfully moves between economy of means and small intuitive gashes James Norton is capable of transmitting the drama that grips him without resorting to superfluous words but is most expressive in the affection and protection towards his little Michael. The four-year-old Lamont is extraordinary in summing up the pain of his heart only with his eyes, as the awareness of what is happening takes shape."
"Had they been in the competition, they would have defeated all opponents for the Volpi Cup. But the question is: why is such a film not in competition?"
Corriere della Sera

"James Norton shines."
"Director Uberto Pasolini, meanwhile, crafts a stripped-back naturalistic drama, eliciting a miraculous performance from Norton's young co-star, Daniel Lamont."
South China Morning Post

"Drawing serious and sustained buzz [in Venice] was Uberto Pasolini's Nowhere Special, starring James Norton."

"Daniel Lamont, who was four at the time of filming, is marvelously connected to the seriousness of the story and the tenderness he shares with his father. There is a great understanding between Norton and the little actor on screen."

"Nowhere Special is a film that shows the expectation of death and speaks of love."
"It's not so much about death, but above all about the time left to live."
"Nowhere Special has the sensitivity to capture the relationship between father and son through small gestures and glances of complicity."
"It must be said that Daniel Lamont's performance as Michael is simply impressive for its incredible naturalness."

"James Norton is superb."
"A heartbreaking and beautiful story."
Il Fatto Quotidiano

"Nowhere Special hits the heart."
"Norton's eyes show love, tenderness, pain."
"A journey into emotions conducted with great sensitivity."
Il Messaggero

"Simple, poignant, moving without forcing the emotion."
"A great James Norton."
La Repubblica

Selected Festivals & Awards

Venice International Film Festival
Film Festival Hamburg
16th Zurich Film Festival
International Antalya (Golden Orange) Film Festival
Warsaw International Film Festival | Audience Award | awarded
Istanbul International Film Festival
Alice in the City aka Alice Nella Citta
BUSAN International Film Festival
El Gouna Film Festival
Valladolid International Film Festival | Audience Award | awarded
Arava Film Festival
31st Stockholm International Film Festival
International Film Festival and Awards Macao
International Film Festival of Kerala
Gold Coast Film Festival in Queensland
Fajr International Film Festival in Teheran
Pula Film Festival | Audience Award | awarded
20th Transilvania International Film Festival
69th Sydney Film Festival
Haugesund Norwegian International Film Festival
Haugesund International Film Festival
Haugesund - The Norwegian International Film Festival
OFF CAMERA International Festival of Independent Cinema
Film By The Sea International Film Festival | Audience Award | awarded
Febiofest - Prague International Film Festival
New Zealand International Film Festival
Leiden Film Festival