Sunday 17 January 2010

True Beauty This Night (2009)

Director: Peter Besson
Stars: Dustin Seavey and Meegan Michel
My favourite No Festival Required screening of the year is always the selection of short films shown at the Phoenix Art Museum. Here's Selection 2010.
True Beauty This Night is a real gem, one of the best short films I've seen in a long while, possibly the best since Dish Communication knocked my socks off. It relies on a twist, one that some in the audience saw coming a long while before others, but is done so well that it still carried everyone through it to the finale, where our hero gets to smile so winningly in such an inappropriate setting that he really ought to face off with Simon Baker from The Mentalist in a grin duel. Dustin Seavey is superb as Rhett Somers, initially a nervous young man trying to ring the young lady of his dreams from a public phone box, but finding it hard to even punch the numbers. It takes the guy waiting behind him in line to do it for him and he finds the nerve to set a date.

They have a history, it seems, though it's obviously not your usual history. He met her last night at 5th St and they shared something, something magical, something special. She doesn't quite have the same view of things at all though, especially as she can't even work out who he is to begin with. He wants to have dinner with her, and she hesitatingly agrees, though perhaps it's just to get her purse back. So what is this? It isn't what we initially think, of course, but I don't want to spoil a joyous story arc. It's absurdity, really, but a delightful form of absurdity that caught up a packed auditorium at the Phoenix Art Museum in its spell. True beauty this night, indeed.

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