It’s just an ordinary day when Joel arrives at a florist’s shop to pick up his girlfriend on her first day of work. When he’s there waiting in the doorway, a car careens down the street, but Joel thinks nothing of it.
But when he leads his girlfriend from the shop to their car, they hear a sound that could be a gunshot. Unsure of what he’s heard, Joel sets off to investigate the sound… and walks right into a nightmare.
Writer and director Antonio Orena-Barlin’s short drama is a tour-de-force of filmmaking, portraying its intense emotional situation over the course of an impressive 12-minute uninterrupted take.
Like other “oners,” the single coordinated flow of action immerses the viewer in a particularly visceral way into the situation, highlighting the superb craft and powerful acting. We discover what the main character learns as he pieces together what’s happened, and we share in the immediacy and anguish of his experience.
“Suburbia” was based on Orena-Barlin’s real-life experience, and has won several awards during its festival run. While its sense of craft is undeniably excellent, it serves a gut-wrenching story that will break your heart by the film’s conclusion.