Short Film Review #43

Expectation Management – Episode 1

 

 

A blokey sitcom of sorts – episode 1 of Tupaq Felber’s Expectation Management has a great comic energy that centres on Owen’s inability to hold down a relationship with a girl. The advice he gets from his friends isn’t necessarily the most constructive though but highly entertaining to watch.

 

 

Supermarket Girl

 

Directed by Matt Greenhalgh and written by Alex Walker, Supermarket Girl is a delicately moving love story between two solitary misfits working in a large supermarket somewhere in the north. Andy and Michelle share more than they realise as their loneliness manifests itself in self-destructive behaviour but slowly, they edge towards a better place. Matthew Beard and Nichola Burley are both excellent as the sweet pair and it makes for a lovely film. 

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Review: The Shape of Things, Arcola

“Art has to be created, no matter the cost”

What price art? How far and fearlessly should one be allowed to pursue artistic ambition? The arguments may recall the more recent debates to try and protect the arts in the never-ending rounds of funding cuts in the name of austerity but they also form the basis of Neil LaBute’s 2001 play The Shape of Things, first seen at the Almeida before making it to Hollywood and revived here by Samuel Miller in the gloom of the Arcola’s basement Studio 2.

It’s a play to see unspoiled if you can, the plot hinging excellently on its grand reveal. Suffice to say that there’s more than meets the eye to this tale of Adam and Eve – this Adam is a scruffily nerdish art gallery, this Eve(lyn) is a modish art student who picks him up in the middle of a protest against a sculpture he’s meant to be watching, and their Garden of Eden the relationship that thus blossoms and sees him transform almost beyond recognition. Continue reading “Review: The Shape of Things, Arcola”

Review: Sweet Bird of Youth, Old Vic

“A lot of folks say they like what I did but they don’t like the way I did it”

There’s much to admire about the Old Vic’s lavish production of Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth, but ultimately I found little to really love as its three hours meander their way through its uneventful beginnings to a far-from-revelatory conclusion. Its big selling point is the return of Kim Cattrall to our stage, playing fading Hollywood star Alexandra Del Lago who is in hiding in a Florida hotel after a disastrous movie premiere which was designed to be a grand comeback. Helping her over her trauma is a handsome gigolo named Chance who fancies himself as an actor but finding himself in his hometown, has to deal with the demons of his past.

The play feels scuppered from the start by the lengthy two-hander which dominates the opening. Cattrall is excellent, if a little too luminous to really convince as a past-it star, as Del Lago rails against the movie system that has made her who she is and can yet still spit her out at the merest hint of failure. The problem lies with the character of Chance, Williams’ predilection for martyrish tendencies not backed up with anywhere near enough depth of character to make us care for someone intended to be a tragic hero. Seth Numrich does well in layering in as much nuance as he can but never really convinces as far as the chemistry between the pair goes, a near-fatal mis-step for me and one from which the play never recovered.

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