The concept of an individual’s fate hinging on one particular moment is hardly a new one. After all, it happens every single second of the day for us. Eat an extra doughnut now, 5 years later die of blocked arteries. Take a sick day from work and miss the office typist going doolally and wiping out the entire floor with sharpened staples. If you grasp the concept of dimensional physics you probably believe that all possible outcomes are occurring simultaneously in response to every single decision you and everyone else on the planet is making in that same miniscule sliver of time.
It’s really not something you want to think about with a hangover.
So obviously, this premise is going to pop up in movies now and then to differing degrees of success. Tie it in with the whole cause & effect time-travel paradox hoopla and you’d have a hefty chunk of celluloid to wade through, though admittedly a lot of it is utter drivel. It might, therefore, come as a bit of a surprise to know that one of my all-time favourite movies deals with exactly that hypothesis .. multiple outcomes from one single achingly critical moment.
The film is Mr Nobody, and it was directed by Jaco Van Dormael, and released in 2009.
Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. It had a limited release in a handful of countries, and that just breaks my heart because the movie is truly beautiful, in my humble opinion. Of course, I’m not claiming to be any sort of expert on films, but I know what I like. And I liked this very much indeed.
A young boy is given a choice when his parents separate, to live with his mother or father, and it is this pivotal moment from which sprout the possible outcomes. How many outcomes is a matter of debate and depends entirely on your interpretation of the story. Yes, it’s one of *those* films. It’s a Thinker. But don’t dismiss it as another artsy-fartsy euro offering, the acting is top-notch and the cinematography is often hypnotising in its artisty. At core though, it’s a story about love. Love between a child and it’s parents, love between man and woman, obsessional love, commitment, loss, eternity.
The film doesn’t hand you anything on a plate. In the beginning it can be confusing, but as the narrative unfolds and the main character Nemo Nobody tells his stories you can’t help but be drawn in and wonder what 9 yr old Nemo means when he says “You have to make the right choice. As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible.” It’s not a complex film, but it does require , and deserve, attention.
I don’t want to give any more details away, I want you to see it. 10 / 10 .