Quiet, unassuming John May (Eddie Marsan, in a pitch-perfect performance) has held an unusual occupation for the past 20-odd years, tracking down the next of kin to those who have died alone. Meticulous to a fault, John’s care and attention to detail is deemed unnecessary in this age of efficiency and he finds himself next in line for downsizing. But before his inevitable departure, he pursues one final assignment: finding the relatives of his elderly neighbor Billy Stoke. When his journey to piece together Billy’s past takes him outside London, he is shaken by an encounter with a life that too closely mirrors his own solitary existence. But then hope comes when he finds an unexpected companion in Billy’s estranged daughter Kelly (“Downton Abbey” regular Joanne Froggatt). Winner of Best Director at the Venice Film Festival, “Still Life” is a poignant drama that serves as a reminder that the best moments of life are meant to be shared with others.
Joost Reijmers | Netherlands | 10 min. | 2013