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Joseph's Reel

Directed by Michael Lavers

Starring Robert Hardy, Alice Lowe, Oliver Tilney & Ella Road

Short film review by Monica Jowett

Romance and imagination bring short film Joseph’s Reel to life which follows the story of an old man who upon dying is given the chance to relive one magical day of his life again. Michael Lavers, who writes and directs, brings wonder and love to this film with ease.

Joseph (Robert Hardy) has died but before he goes on he is allowed to remember and relive one day from his past, projected onto a cinema screen, his lines from this one day are read to him by the Projectionist (Alice Lowe). Joseph goes back to his younger days where his younger self (Oliver Tilney) is about to have a memorable day with the love of Joseph’s life Rose (Ella Road). However he has to follow the script and relive this one day exactly as it happened all those years ago, or the Projectionist will stop the reel. Being the adventurous man he is, Joseph - both old and young - doesn’t go along with script.

An original idea and story, using gorgeous cinematography picturing beautiful countryside suggests one of the fantastical ways to rewrite and experience again the most precious memories. Using some clever editing to intertwine the two stories, Joseph’s Reel is something special.

Hardy as the older Joseph shows a man who has a vibrant past; some of which he clearly regrets and Tilney plays a brilliant younger counterpart to that, embodying the regret but also the undying love he has for Rose. Though different actors, they have created one genuine character that is easy to relate to. The rest of the cast also do no wrong. Road as Rose is charming and has a great energy that compliments Tilney as the younger Joseph, and it is easy to see why he would relive any day with her. The Projectionist, portrayed by Lowe is a mysterious character who provides the fantasy element of this short film. Stern and uncompromising, she has an honesty to her that makes you think she might not always enjoy the job she has been set, and can become enthralled with the romance between Joseph and Rose.

Within the romance, Joseph’s Reel is a film that shows great storytelling through authentic performances, mesmerising cinematography and camerawork. Lavers has created a solid piece of work that can be relished over again.

This short film will feature at the Cork Film Festival 2015. Read more film reviews that will feature on our Festivals page.


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