FOYER (a.k.a. Hearth) **** Canada 2019 Dir: Sophie B Jacques. 11 mins
Writer-director Sophie B Jacques’ latest short film offers a droll, cleverly constructed inversion of home invasion tropes with which we are all too familiar. It unfolds in a luxurious neighbourhood and revolves around Emilie (Marilyn Castonguay), who returns home after renting her home via an app to a strange mature couple (Marianne Farley, Joel Marin). All seems good, and their letter of gratitude is charming enough, but Emilie’s inspection of the property reveals some unsavoury truths about the couple’s proclivities. Jacques’ roaming camera cannily shifts us between two different time periods, while the nicely used voiceover and the score by Matthew Pusti and Andy Walker tie it together with a sense of pervasive menace. It’s a witty subversion of expectation.
Review by Steven West