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Le Cortège (2020)- Short Film Review

Star Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Written by: #SylvainCharbonneau

Starring: #AlareyAlsip

Short Film Review by: Thomas Jay

From this point forth using its English translated title of The Procession, this 11 minute short film, co produced by France and Canada, sees the now deceased Catherine (Alarey Alsip) speak from beyond the grave to her husband, Phillip, who’s enduring the presence of his family at his wife’s wake.

A hyper stylised animated feature which in some ways resembles the successful Archer (2009-Present) series, this singular monologue of Catherine was fantastically delivered and really haunting, the delivery of Alsip was chilling and contrasted perfectly with this stunningly clean animation style, creating this overbearingly cold atmosphere that captures you from the get go.

Framed as a pseudo mystery, the monologue is part pouring of emotions and the other half dedicated to solving the cause of her death, the unravelling of the story was surprisingly compelling given its true runtime of under ten minutes. Though no other supporting characters speak save from a sigh by Phillip, the Supporting cast is well depicted, consisting of Catherine’s father-in-law who seems to be extremely caring towards her, though she gets only a few frames Phillip’s sister is clearly devastated by the loss while the disapproving mother is suspicious of the death as a whole, questioning whether our posthumous lead was under the influence while on her drive. Painting these elegant, retrograde portraits of what are essentially living mannequins I could wax lyrical all day about the stunning visuals of this short film, evoking comic book style visuals the somewhat neo-noir style further drives home the elements of grief it explores and its varying manifestations.

With somewhat of a twist ending, or more accurately a reveal that quells the suspicion of the viewers and the other characters, I personally vouch for it being a rather satisfying closure though it is hotly contested amongst people who’ve seen this piece, I found it was another chance for this film to flex its exceptional style and was certainly welcomed, a sentiment I’d Also apply to the music used in this short. Though tonally it might appear to some as conflicting, the use of Shirley Bassey’s rendition of Don’t take the Lover’s from the World seemed pretty much perfect. Giving the film a pulse in terms of atmosphere so it isn’t entirely a landslide of misery, it opened the film well and seemed to fit the character arc as a whole, communicating Catherine’s treasuring of her marriage as well as offering a line of hope for Phillip in the future.

This emotionally dense and visually stunning short film was a pleasure to watch and at this point (though it is admittedly rather early) is a standout from the We Are One film festival and one I’d highly recommend, seep your eyes in the beauty of this short film.

Reviewed by: #TomJay


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