Joe McGovern
January 15, 2015 AT 05:00 AM EST

Still Life

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
108 minutes
Limited Release Date
01/18/08
performer
Han Sanming, Zhao Tao
director
Jia Zhang-ke
distributor
New Yorker Films
author
Jia Zhang-ke
genre
Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it a C

When people die friendless and alone in South London, it’s the OCD-enabling job of John May (Eddie Marsan) to find their next of kin. Most often he doesn’t, and at their funerals he’s the sole attendee. Writer-director Uberto Pasolini’s unsubtle and precious character study offers one big surprise by casting Marsan, the beady-eyed malcontent from Ray Donovan and Happy-Go-Lucky, as a gentle introvert. But the plot begs for a jolt of the Charlie Kaufmanesque—it’s so pillow-smothered by tedium that even the uplift of magic realism in the film’s final shot seems cold and stiff. C

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