Directed by: Adam Walters
Written by: #AdamWalters
French-language short film, Stiltsville Sisters, is a drama starring Anna Carvalho and Alix Richard as two sisters whose reunion among the glorious waters of Florida is full of humour, emotion, and familial healing.
Written and directed by Adam Walters, Stiltsville Sisters occupies that most enriched genre of cinema where the audience only has to grapple with two characters. This is an exploration of their bond, the nuances of their relationship, and the implications of their future when the revelations start to come. And start to come they do.
Walters’ story is laden with subtext and hints at numerous dramatic angles for both characters. A troubled and estranged relationship with their parents for Marine (Alix Richard) and a failing marriage for Ines (Anna Carvalho) are some of the meatier topics hanging in the tranquil Miami air. However, the isolated and beguiling setting means that the drama never feels overwhelming, allowing this sibling scenario to play out in calm focus. Which is, regrettably part of the problem.
Both performers have strong skills in front of camera. Their sisterhood felt convincing and the chemistry between them was engaging throughout the #shortfilm. Richard's mischievous portrayal of Marine is splendid, injecting some great moments of comedy into the piece, such as her inability to detach herself from her phone. It's Carvalho, though, who impresses most with her portrayal of the doting yet troubled older sister. It was reminiscent of Mark Duplass’ 2011 indie comedy, Your Sister's Sister minus the male character presence and drunken antics.
The main flaw, however, with Stiltsville Sisters is the undercooked story. Whilst the dynamic of the pair is great and Walters depicts their touch points well, there is not enough depth to the conflict. Resolution seems to emerge as easy as the waves crash into the shore and the viewer is never expected to feel any kind of tension. As such, the characters feel charged for something substantial in the storyline which never materialises. Which is a shame because all the #filmmaking foundations were there for a knockout.
Cinematically striking and a brilliant attention to characterisation make Walters a notable #filmmaker for 2019. He elicits two great performances and delivers a short indie movie that is tonally on the mark. Let's see something next that transcends the easy going tide of Miami for something a little more troubling.
Watch the official movie trailer below.