Review of SOCKS AND CAKES
Oct 12, 2010
By Elizabeth Sellars
It’s film festival season and one of the films making its way onto the festival circuit is writer / director Antonio Padovan’s breezy dramatic short Socks and Cakes (a very odd title, for a drama), which deals with the frustrations, jealousies and anxieties that come with relationships.
Although his script doesn’t break any new ground in the relationships department (sorry, but it’s still a mystery) writer / director Padovan's film is well made, with many of the actors in the five person cast bringing life and vigor to their roles, but at a running time of only fifteen minutes, we don’t really get to know all of the characters.
The film, produced by Kimistra Films and Red Rock Entertainment, stars Jeff Moffitt as Richard, a successful architect who is hosting a dinner party with his film director/architect wife Amanda (Kirsty Meares) at their Lower Manhattan apartment.
It's going to be a small affair...just the couple and a few of their close friends, including sardonic French literature professor Harry (Timothy J. Cox), Richard's best friend and Amanda's ex-husband.
The bulk of the film is told from Harry’s perspective and in Cox’s somber performance, you get the sense that Harry's a little down on life at the moment, wondering where it's all gone, the joy, the fun, the purpose. He spends his days checking out real estate properties he never intends to buy while trying, unsuccessfully, to date his own students. He even had a date for this dinner party, but quips that basically he prefers to be alone. Is he content with being alone? Embittered? Cox does nice work with the role, but the script makes Harry out to be a bit of a “Debbie Downer”.
All that is certain about Harry is that he's not letting anything or anyone in. That is, except Amanda.
As the film progresses, we discover that Harry still has feelings for Amanda, who is having problems of her own, namely that she thinks...knows...that her marriage to Richard is falling apart.
In the film’s best scene, Amanda is unraveling at this realization, but there to support her is a warm, kind hearted Harry. This is not the dry, sardonic and often morose individual we see at the beginning of the film. This is a Harry who listens, who is compassionate. Obviously, he still loves his wife, the one he let get away. I also suspect that this is who Harry really is, but he rarely lets this other Harry out. Guys like Harry like to keep a hard outer shell; it dissuades people from getting too close.
Other guests at the party include uber obnoxious real estate whiz David (Ben Prayz) and his sexy French girlfriend Sophie (Alex Vincent). Richard is taken aback by Sophie immediately and his flirtations begin. Harry detests David, as he suspects that he and Amanda were intimate at one time.
It’s going to be a wild night.
Writer / director Padovan and his director of photography Alessandro Penazzi took a page from the Woody Allen handbook and chose to shoot the film in continuous shots, mostly wide, which I deeply appreciated in this world of jarring quick cuts and close ups (I’m talking to you, Michael Bay).
Aside from the aforementioned Cox, Kirsty Meares is impressive in an emotionally fragile performance as Amanda.
Sadly, the rest of the cast, Jeff Moffitt, Ben Prayz and Alex Vincent, all hardworking, are given little to do in Padovan’s script. If the film is a success on the festival circuit, perhaps the film could be revisited and those roles could be beefed up.
The film has been submitted to numerous festivals all over the United States since it’s release in January.
My recommendation to Mr. Padovan: Please change the title.
For information on the film, please check out the film’s official website at www.socksandcakes.com