MOMENT **** Canada 2019 Dir: Geoffrey Uloth. 22 mins
Screenwriter-director Geoffrey Uloth, who made the series CHASING MONSTERS after a sequence of short films, presents a unique and heartfelt twist on the superhero genre with this unexpectedly moving Montrael-shot piece. After finding a mysterious teddy bear on her bed at the homeless shelter, Charli (Emelia Hellman) is attacked on Halloween night by masked muggers. Things look grim until strangers wearing eye masks appear to freeze the muggers (and everything else) in their tracks. Sandy a.k.a. “Timeless” (Dayane Ntibarikure), who puts a dollar in Charli’s cup every day, can either stop time or speed up thoughts (she’s not entirely sure which but she is a STAR TREK fan). Astral – real name Kevin – (Patrick Abellard) can project himself and others onto different astral planes. Together, the duo advise that the attack will have to resume, but that they can train Charli to survive it when time restarts by teaching her the most practical way to get out of the scenario alive. This, naturally, involves learning how to take a punch, kick balls and hit someone productively with a shoe.
An imaginative low-budget revision of the back-alley mugging endlessly replayed in various incarnations of the Bruce Wayne / Batman story, MOMENT also presents a refreshingly honest and unsentimental portrayal of the homeless community – with a fine central performance from Hellman. The most satisfying element is that it offers an origin story more for a human being (whom we might otherwise easily dismiss) than a superhero. The STAR TREK references are cute and the film’s big-hearted core and emotional denouement are enhanced by Patrick Lavoie’s lovely music score and by the use of M83’s “Outro”.
Review by Steven West