‘Still Life’ finds heart in the lives of the dead

It’s hard to watch “Still Life” and not start up the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” in your head. John May (Eddie Marsan) is a London council employee who does post-mortem care for all the lonely people: He contacts relatives of those found dead in their apartments, arranges funerals and even, in a pinch, writes eulogies. His quiet kindness and genuine interest in their histories gives voice to a segment of the population usually written off, in popular culture, as pathetic cautionary tales.

But John himself is a loner, as we see from the well-worn single place-setting in his tidy apartment, and when the man living opposite him is found dead, the case hits hard. He tracks down the man’s daughter (Joanne Froggatt of “Downton Abbey”), with whom...

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Jan 15th 2015
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