Taking a snapshot into the lives of three couples who are all dealing with the pressures of being in a long distance relationship, we review Short Distance from director Nic Barker.
He may only be relatively young for a film maker, but 25 year old Australian Nic Barker is seriously carving out a great career with his intelligent and highly professional productions. Two of his short films (Pint and Dead Sharks) have featured on Screen Critix in the past, with both receiving our seal of approval and five stars respectively, so it was interesting to see if Barker could continue his tradition when making the transition to a fully-fledged feature film.
With Short Distance, Barker opts to tell an entwining tale of three couples in Australia, whom are all having to deal with distance. If you think about how this year’s Oscar winning Moonlight managed to tell one tale divided into three section’s of a man’s life, you can sort of get the idea of the structure of Short Distance, if you substitute the main character with three couples.
The first story revolves around a loving couple called Lauren (Calista Fooks) and Chris (Sam MacDonald). Chris has recently accepted a job in another city and, with the clock ticking down until his departure, we get to witness the couple’s final days together in Melbourne.
The second tale shows a rather irritable man called Max (Christopher Kay) who picks up his girlfriend Sara (Roelene Coleman) from the airport after her being away at college for four months. He has planned a romantic weekend away in a posh hotel, but Sara is strangely distant and acting rather stand-offish, due to her budding relationship with a “friend” called Ben back home.
Lastly, we get to meet Belinda (Gabrielle Savrone) who, due to her partner Julien working away a lot, takes it upon herself to join a dating website and meets a man called Ollie (Chris Gibson) for some fun. This isn’t a case of “if the cat’s away, the mice will play” though, she is lonely and lost and in need of company.
As with all of Barker’s films that we have been fortunate to watch so far, Short Distance is achingly beautiful to look at. Cinematographer Filip Laureys does an amazing job of capturing the intimate moments from the character’s lives along with some fantastic shots of Melbourne. His use of lighting and lenses is simply sublime and suits the mood and tone of the hour-long film perfectly.
The performances are all spot on, as well. In order to make a drama film such as this work, each character needs a strong actor to play them and Barker is very fortunate to have such a great cast.
Short Distance, which was also written by Barker, is a powerful film that has the ability to make you laugh and/or cry, but most of all, it is enthralling. Another brilliant piece of work from a talented director and his talented team. Simply sublime.