Based on actual events, the film follows John (James Norton), who works as a window cleaner. At the age of thirty-five, John is unwell and is told he only has several months to live. While dealing with his medical conditions, John also needs to find someone to take care of his son, Michael (Daniel Lamont), who is only three years old. With Michael’s mother nowhere to be found, John will spend his remaining days meeting various people to ensure Michael will have the right home, a good upbringing, and a bright future.
But for John, finding the right family or foster parent to look after Michael is not easy. As John and Michael visit various families and people, John’s gut instinct tells him to keep looking. With the clock ticking and only a small number of people approved to foster Michael, John will need to choose quickly and wisely before it is too late.
Nowhere Special is best described as a heavy-hearted drama. The topics and themes here are highly dramatic and heartfelt. Not only are viewers watching John push himself to provide for his son while being unwell, but we see how he carries the pressure and weight of trying to make sure his son is looked after once he passes away. It’s a horrible situation, and the film makes it very easy for us to care and be compassionate towards John and Michael. Performances from both leads are powerful, strong, unforgettable, and the two are believable as father and son. There are plenty of moments here that are highly convincing, and the script feels realistic and can’t be faulted. As a parent myself, this movie did pull on my heartstrings on multiple occasions.
While some aspects of the film are slightly predictable (such as the final moments), the journey that leads go on is highly rewarding to experience. While this is a slow drama film, I was highly impressed how much I didn’t even notice the runtime. The film has so much to offer emotionally, and given my high level of investment, the runtime feels like it goes quickly.
Visually, the filming style is highly creative. One example of this is John looking in through windows. We frequently see scenes of people framed by a window, with the audience looking in through the glass. Some moments also carry a hidden and touching meaning, such as when Michael mistakenly lets go of his balloon, and it floats off into the sky. It’s brilliant how something so minor can have a large impact and message.
Overall, as a parent, I can’t deny it; this film did pull on my heartstrings on multiple occasions. It’s a touching film filled with powerful and unforgettable dramatic moments thanks to the leads, who are highly convincing as father and son. The plot is heavy and packed with heartfelt moments. I’m proud to say how much I enjoyed this film, especially the journey of our leads. Visually, I loved the creativity and hidden references along the way. Even if the outcome is ever so slightly predictable, it’s still an impacting cinema experience and comes highly recommended. Nowhere Special (2020) is Available in Australian Cinemas from March 24th.