Short Film Review #44

WONDER from johnnydaukes on Vimeo.
A real work of art this. Johnny Daukes’ Wonder has much of the multi-stranded, deeply emotional feel of one of my favourite films Lantana and is just beautifully made. Set in London with the odd excursion to the picturesque Dorset coast, a set of disparate lives are shown to us – a couple about to separate, another one tired of their long relationship, a family grieving, a jealous lover wanting to trust his boyfriend. Daukes spares us too much dialogue and focuses instead on gorgeous shots and an evocative, self-penned score, making this a deserved success.

 Cotton Stones from Jonathan Entwistle on Vimeo.
A grim tale of life in t’North which if you’re a teenager, means you’re either dealing drugs or blaming your younger brother for losing a bag of ecstasy. Jonathan Entwistle’s Cotton Stones is blessed with some great performances by Dean Smith and Ben-Ryan Davies as the hapless brothers and Andrew Knott as the menacing kingpin of the village trade and on the attractive if desolate, blasted moorland, responsibilities have to be faced.

 Simple Things from Fraser MacDonald on Vimeo.
A mother and son live a near-hermetic life in Jim McRoberts’ Simple Things which makes for a very low-key watch. Fraser Macdonald’s direction is excellently claustrophobic, especially as it follows Paul Rattray’s Danny as he ventures out into a world he doesn’t really fit into but the whole thing suffers from something like inertia in the end.

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