It's Nice Up North (3 stars)

(U) 95min (Cadiz Music DVD retail)


John Shuttleworth is a man with a mission. Can it possibly be the case that the further north in the British Isles you go, the more pleasant people become? This is the kicking-off point for this charming little movie by Graham Fellows, the man who has occupied the large specs, leather jacket and red polo neck of Sheffield’s finest pub and nursing home crooner for two toe-curling decades.

Shuttleworth is accompanied on the trip by Martin Parr, Fellows’ fellow chronicler of life’s quirky minutiae, and as the Shetland Islanders’ courtesy grows with each passing hour, the classy photographer and the cheesy keyboardist get right on each others’ wicks. The subtlety of Shuttleworth’s humour never allows the film to rise above gentle massaging of the humerus but when so much film comedy wants to clatter you over the head, this is a welcome diversion. Extras include an animated short and some deleted scenes.

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