Written & Directed by: #LisaMüller
In this short film written and directed by Lisa Müller, a father faces a surprising change in his son’s personality. The film begins with a scene of the title character, Liam, playing football at a team game, his father, Trevor, watching by. There seems to be some disconnection between the father and son, and we quickly learn this is likely something to do with the absence of the motherly figure. Liam tackles gender non-conformity and the affect it has on the person, and in this case, the parent too.
The sweet thing about Liam is that it displays a parent, though confused and filled with questions, wanting to do right by his child and try to help. That means simply giving the choice of going to football games, allowing him to wear wigs, and I’m sure beyond the credits, plenty more character building for the both of them. It’s always a pleasure to watch and write about a film that introduces an element of ‘change,’ both internally and externally. Though an individual just not wanting to conform to the gender ‘norms’ doesn’t necessarily make them a part of the LGBTQ+ community, it does touch on that area and it could lead to further internal questioning. As someone in the community, this is my personal understanding of it, so take that as you will.
Liam is only 7 minutes in length but manages to tackle an important subject which I’ve had the pleasure of writing about a few times before. The actors are fantastic, some of the lines in the dialogue are a touch too obvious or on the nose, but all around a good effort. Steve Aaron-Sipple plays the father, Trevor, who begins to embrace the change in his child’s behaviour. You see the sense of unfamiliarity within his performance and that was a pretty nice nuance to pick up on. Young actor Daiton Kelly plays Liam, and again, delivering a subtle but honest performance.
This could honestly be expanded upon further, and I wonder if director Lisa Müller will do this, or tackle more sensitive but important subjects in the future. I’d be interested to see how her career takes off in the coming years. Liam is a superb little short that shines the light on just one of the many intricacies of parenting and childhood, and does so with a gentle touch. It isn’t forced or thrown around, it just… is.