Short films can be tremendously powerful. Successful short film filmmakers have the ability to weave a story into a shorter, tighter format and still leave the audience completely blown away by their experience.
Simon Pearce's short film Watch Over Me is just such an example. Currently on the film festival circuit, it has won and been nominated for several awards. This tense short action drama is a tremendously captivating and intelligent use of the short film format.
The story centres around a nameless drifter whose chance encounter with a woman potentially provides both of them with a shot at redemption. But make no mistake, this is not some romantic, airbrushed scenario- it's raw, it's real and it's gritty.
A particular standout is Oliver Park as the drifter. His dialogue is sparse but in a look or a particular action he is able to convey a massive amount of unexpected information: a glance through a window, a reaction to a comment, an eye movement. His acting is nuanced and powerful.
Not only that, the film also allows for the storyline to unfold wordlessly much of the time- not a single shot is wasted, not a single line that over-explains a situation. Pearce knows you'll find what you need to find out about the characters with his shots and dialogue.
Every performance is delivered magnificently and with great impact. Adrian Bouchet's Dominic is not some cheesy moustache-twirling villain; he delivers his performance with the menace of a tightly-coiled snake. Holly Georgia brings quiet strength to her character and is a fantastic match for Oliver Park's nameless drifter.
My only real complaint is that I would have loved this as a feature film, but as a short it is a true standout and worthy of its previous awards and nominations.