Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Directed by: Kimberley Wintle
Written by: Kimberley Wintle
Starring: Kimberley Wintle, Alexander Dreymon, Alex Benjamin, Rhoda Pell, Julyza Commadore, Kelly Musslewhite, Cat Limket, Christopher Ashman
Short Film Review by: Jack Bottomley
Now more than ever we live in a mad mad mad world, so it is important to have fun as much as you can and never think it’s too late for you to do so. And in director/writer Kimberley Wintle’s short film Mabel, we have a stylish piece of filmmaking which opens up into a story that is both unexpected and most welcome at this point in time. A story of loss, of human connection and of making that leap.
The film sees lone young woman Mabel (Kimberley Wintle) living her daily routine of spending time at home with her pet Tortoise and going out to pick up a coffee, where she has been reassured by the kindness of one particular barista. However, Mabel, is affected by her past but does that mean she can’t still have a future?
From the playful opening moments of this film, bright and breezily edited by Meredith Leece and bouncily scored by Alex Baranowski, this short has an old fashioned charm to it. Starting as a simple story of a lady who makes a connection in her daily routines and toys with going further, Wintle’s tale opens up warmly and engagingly into a very kind hearted look at dealing with loss and the life that can come thereafter.
Mabel is full of little details, some of which may seem to sit slightly off in your head, but this all comes together as the finale reveals the real story at the core of the film, and it is an unspeakably lovely plot, one about life and attachment. So often we think we are past something or question our feelings, but this happy, lively and lovely little movie suggests it’s never too late to keep on living.
Wintle is excellent in the lead of the film as Mabel (who is not keen on her name being called out, so she goes by the name of Joan) and her character expands as the film goes on, with her past meaning so much and explaining a lot about her present and even a potential future. There are also some nice supporting turns by Alexander Dreymon as Jack the friendly barista, Kelly Musslewhite as her equally bubbly friend and Rhoda Pell as a surprising and hopeful presence. Alongside a fun and diverse cast.
To say too much about this enjoyable little story would be to spoil its narrative impact but suffice to say, this is a great watch. One about time and life, that I think will prove most welcome, especially in a year that has often been so downbeat. Not to mention a film that may speak to a few viewers of any age, who have gone through something life changing, and understand what it is to fall into a routine and contemplate not just what the future will mean but whether one is even possible.
In the excellent Mabel, Wintle’s endearing script and direction suggests a promising future for the actor turned filmmaker to come.