Its charms are immediate and rewarding, as “Still Life,” written and directed by Uberto Pasolini, asks you to slow down and consider the life of unassuming caseworker John May, wonderfully played by the great Eddie Marsan.
May’s job is to track down the relatives of those who have died alone, and he earnestly takes his job to heart, often providing the dead with a dignity they may have never experienced in life. Part public servant, part painstaking sleuth, May takes what little he learns from the personal affects of the unknown dead and crafts touching eulogies usually delivered by a state-sponsored facilitator for his ears only.
Marsan is perfectly cast, and his performance is both nuanced and potent. Meanwhile, his John May is also perfectly suited to a thankless job; delivering bad news to long-lost relatives who may not even care to hear. May is kind and thoughtful, and his job takes someone