Published on August 19th, 2015 | by Allan Brown0
Joseph’s Reel Review
Movie Review: Joseph’s Reel (2015 Short Film)
Running Time: 14 minutes
Director: Michael Lavers
Writers: Michael Lavers
Cast: Robert Hardy, Alice Lowe, Oliver Tilney, Ella Road
The narrative centres on Joseph, an elderly man who is taking his last breath during his final moments in life. Upon his departure, Joseph is given the opportunity to relive one special moment from his past. But as whisperings of tragedy and regret begin to surface, is this one static moment in a long and loving life, enough to heal the heart of this dotting husband?
Although relatively new to the industry, Lavers – who both wrote and directed, shows tremendous skill in balancing the themes of love and loss over three short acts. Despite it being a strong and weighty narrative for a short film, Laver’s astute direction is elegantly paced, never allowing the film to feel too dense or rushed for its length.
Harnessing the magic of light with astonishing effect is Cinematographer Eben Bolter (Chicken 2015, Greyhawk 2014). Once again, Bolter showcases incredible ability in not only capturing some breath-taking imagery for the many contrasting sequences, but in making full use of the exquisite locations, bathing them in serene magical Lubezki-esque beauty.
Robert Hardy (Harry Potter) leads the cast in a raw and heart-rending performance which is beautifully underpinned by Oliver Tilney’s portrayal as his younger self. Although these two characters inhabit different periods in time, skilful editing, adept storytelling and truly authentic performances, bind them together with genuine authenticity throughout. It can be said the cast in full, do not put a foot wrong. Each member, including Ella Road and Alice Lowe (Sightseers, Hot Fuzz). bring strong, honest and delightfully engaging performances, that quickly draw you into the story from it’s very first frame.
In the end, Joseph’s Reel is a wonderful accomplishment. It’s heartfelt, emotional and utterly enthralling, and may just be one of the most accomplished shorts I’ve ever experienced.
Summary: This beautiful 35mm short, captures more heart and emotion in fourteen brief minutes, than most features films only dream of achieving in ninety.