Andrew Nuño, Adrian Nuño
Let me cut straight to the chase. "Little Things" is all about sadness. It's about dealing with a seemingly invincible foe, locked away inside your head. I'm not talking about little voices or multiple personalities - I'm talking about the king of all mental villains - depression. There's a few lines right at the start that not only embody this entire short film, but also ring so very true - it becomes hard to think of depression any other way. It's the little things. The small shit. It's not always the major events in a persons life, that egg on thoughts of ending your own life - it's the small things that slip into the cracks and become a cumulative effort. That's how our leading lady Teddy describes it and damn, doesn't it ring true.
Essentially, this film penned by Lauryn Lugo, focuses on the journey of one woman as she contemplates ending her own life. During what could be her last walk through town, she meets and interacts with various people who help form her decision. It's funny - because springing to my mind as I write this, and as I watched, I kept thinking of that old "Sesame Street" tune "People In Your Neighborhood" and wondered how crazy I was - for such thoughts? All jokes aside however, "Little Things" holds some serious weight on it's shoulders. This is not an easy topic. Especially for a short, micro budget film.
I couldn't help but feel like "Little Things" was hinting at some form of divine intervention. Maybe it was but even if not, the signs are there. From the random playing of a certain song, right after a family related scene - to the comedic banter of a restaurant owner, who relished in using the lords name in vane. Religious beliefs aside, it all spelled out higher power without actually saying it. Honestly? I loved it. Loved the mystery of it. At the same time I'm not lost to the fact we all search for signs. Signs to do something or not do something. Perhaps I was simply looking for signs myself. Signs telling Teddy not to go through with it. Perhaps that theory of the little shit can go both ways. However I wanted to look at things... one thing was clear. Not only did Lauryn Lugo put forth a great script, but Andrew and Adrian Nuno definitely managed to direct some excellent sequences. Getting quite a lot from what could have been a dull film. Under normal circumstances, a random stroll through the city could quickly become tiresome. Not in this case though - not in this film.
The technical section of this write-up will be brief. In a nutshell? This is a technically sound indie production. The visuals are handled nicely and the audio? Well... it's clear and easy to understand. All this is held together by a decent edit and some great choices regarding background music. Generally speaking, "Little Things" shows itself as a much bigger film than it probably is budget-wise. Of that there's no question.
The acting, from everyone involved, was great. No other way to put it. Lugo herself, as Teddy, plays the role quite nicely. To the world just a normal woman. Within however, the conflict rages on. What really surprised me was the supporting roles, and the talent behind them. This isn't a film where the performances of everyone - except the lead are horrible. Just the opposite. In fact? My favorite scene is driven by the supporting cast. That scene? The one in the restaurant.
When it's all said and done, "Little Things" sits in that grey area where it isn't really a short film - but not quite a feature length. I feel that's the only thing that could pose any kind of issues, when and if it submits to festivals. A ten minute chop to the length, somewhere, would greatly benefit this movie. As if it needs any more benefit right? This is a well thought out, well acted film. No question about that. As a matter of fact - the only odd feeling part of the movie I can think of, is the walking scene between Teddy and her would-be assailant. An interesting scene and scenario - that was slightly awkward because of how slow the characters end up walking. Small potatoes however, when considering the entire film. I found "Little Things" both interesting and strangely uplifting. I also liked the fact it didn't end on a perfect note. Does Teddy live to fight her demons another day? You'll have to watch to find out. A solid four stars.
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