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Monday, September 28, 2015

Philip Goldacre Shines In Realistic Drama Short Film "The Journey of Alfred Small"

"THE JOURNEY OF ALFRED SMALL" (2015)
Genre: Drama
Length- 22:07
Company:  Old Lamp Films

Alfred Small (Philip Goldacre) is a senior citizen living in England.  His entire life revolves around hitching a ride on the city bus to visit his wife (Chrissie White) in the hospital and back home, and making due with what he has while he waits for her to recover.

But today, there's a troubled young woman named Kendal (Tayo Elesin) and her son, Benji (Fabian Walcott) waiting at the bus stop.

Alfred's insular world will never be the same.

BITTER TASTE OF REALITY

Written by Amy Holleworth and director Mike Archer, "The Journey of Alfred Small" is a serious short film set in the real world with characters who behave like real people.  That's no small accomplishment from a writing standpoint, to create a universe that feels genuine and real.

And of special note is Goldacre's performance, which is simply put awesome.  He could, and should, win awards for his portrayal as the apparently taciturn but strong and emotional Alfred Small.  He shows such a range and does so effortlessly.  He is this film.  I can't say enough about his performance.

The only problem is that the film is far too long.  Realism may be largely spaces of down time punctuated by moments of importance, but the world of film does not have that luxury.  Audiences need something to look at and a story to follow.  While Goldacre delivers an incredible performance, there's just not enough going on to carry the film.

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 2.5 / 5.  A very realistic portrayal of the real world and Alfred Small is a fascinating character.  Unfortunately, there's a LOT of time spent without much going on throughout the film.  The theme of letting go is not sufficiently developed, so the dialogue lines toward the end of the film come out of nowhere.
Directing: 3 / 5. Natural camera work from Archer and Director of Photography Simon Shen.  Never intrudes.
Editing: 2.5 / 5.  The film's way too long and could've used a lot of cutting.  Otherwise, it looks good from shot to shot.
Sound/Music: 3 / 5. Rob Harris' score is gorgeous, but the sound design is extremely uneven.  Volume levels are all over the place, and scenes transition from one to the next with audible clicks.
Acting: 4 / 5.  Goldacre delivers a performance most actors would die for.  Elesin, Walcott, White and Dinarte Gouvein do OK with what they're given.

Final Grade: 3 / 5.

Don't forget to check out "The Journey of Alfred Small" and follow the creators on Facebook!