Written & Directed by: #AndrewHyatt
Long time British game show host, Jonathan Robbins, finds himself questioning his mortality and legacy after the recent death of a close friend. When he comes across an unexpected letter from a young fan, he heads into the backwoods of America in search of deeper meaning for his life.
What is the meaning of life, really? Jonathan (James Faulkner) loses a close friend and regrets missing his funeral and becoming distant. Too caught up in his career as a TV host, he begins reflecting on his life and legacy. After receiving a letter from a fan, he sets out on a trip of self-discovery in America, though what he finds isn’t quite what he wanted or expected. But, he is determined to find an answer to that very big question.
Along the way, Hyatt’s All Those Small Things finds some charm in the morbidity and grief of Jonathan’s character. He meets some interesting people on his travels; including a bartender who isn’t as simple as she seems. His evolving bond with Ruby (Kerry Knuppe) is a pleasant part of his story to finding his peace of mind. Then there’s his unexpected meeting with a young rapper ‘Tiny Hammer’ (Aaron Dalla Villa); a character who’s presence brings forward the weak and strong elements of the film. Some enlightening conversations among boozey house parties makes All Those Small Things both an engrossing and annoying watch.
Something interesting about All Those Small Things is that is directly references Faulkner being in Downton Abbey, though through his character of Jonathan. It’s sort of a self-reflective piece for him as an actor, who at his age must be wondering the same as his character. Starring in some huge shows, being in the spotlight but feeling somewhat empty of real meaning. I think it’s comforting to know that even bigger names can feel crushed by life, that no amount of success can truly bring fulfilment. That is something you must find yourself. One character mentions that if you could change just one life, it’s worth it.
All Those Small Things tackles a hefty subject with great care, and while not every minute of it is enjoyable, there are some genuinely nice moments sprinkled throughout. Faulkner’s performance is very strong, even in its underplayed way. He really gets into the mind of Jonathan, and that may be because he’s not so different from him after all. Hyatt’s direction is graceful, his writing wonderful, and even though it’s a film that doesn’t satisfy viewers with the one true answer to that very big question, it does offer some good perspective.
Watch the trailer for All Those Small Things below.