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A Balanced Breakfast

average rating is 3 out of 5


Amber Jackson


Posted on:

May 5, 2022

Film Reviews
A Balanced Breakfast
Directed by:
J. W. Cox
Written by:
J. W. Cox
Vince Hobart Smith, Rhyan Hanavan, Mark Borison

Best Picture winner at the Winterfilm Festival, A Balanced Breakfast is an eleven-minute piece centring a father in the midst of a mid-life crisis as he struggles to balance work and life. Short and sweet, it stars Vince Hobart Smith as Dennis and Rhyan Hanavan portraying Moriah, his daughter, as the two navigate the clashes between childhood and adulthood and discover what truly matters to them.


Light and bright, with a clear focus on snowy weather, this short film quickly warms up in terms of its charm. A quirky and fun script provides an alternative narrative that does not typically get explored on screen: a single father parent confronted with many the everyday challenges of life and having to balance it all. We see Dennis becoming increasingly frustrated when struggling to weigh up an important day at work versus caring for his young daughter and we feel for him. This breaking point highlights a contemporary struggle of putting family first and not always getting the answers right.


Moriah balances her father well as, despite his anxieties, she is cool and collected. Despite being unwell, her keenness to make her father happy keeps the film light-hearted and warm in tone. She too must balance her feelings and learns more about her father along the way. Whilst the contrast between a daughter wanting to spend him with her father, versus a father who cannot switch off from work, is apparent, the important of happiness prevails. Their sweet and relatable relationship as they both discover more about the other is portrayed with great on-screen chemistry from Rhyan Hanavan and Vince Hobart Smith. Both perform powerfully with great comedic timing as moments of relief interject into the more serious messages contained within the short.


A Balanced Breakfast is a comedic film that carries a deeper meaning about maintaining balance. True to the everyday experience, writer and director J. W. Cox compares the little joys in life, like a delicious cereal, versus the larger joys of parenthood and bonding with your child. It sounds like an odd concept, but its metaphors work greatly to make an enjoyable viewing experience. Simple in execution, the performances ensure that the script conveys its powerful message where a father-daughter duo realise their true priorities.

About the Film Critic
Amber Jackson
Amber Jackson
Short Film
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