A young actress, talented but troubled and temperamental, gets put under house arrest for attacking an autograph seeker.
Going stir crazy, she decides to put on a play of her own in her home. But as she watches her own experience onstage, she is able to confront her own role in the disappointments of her life and the consequences of her self-destructive tendencies.
Writer-director Angus Kirby is a character portrait of someone trying to keep the spark of creativity alive, find meaning in life and make something out of nothing. It’s also about the moment in life when you look at yourself in the mirror and take responsiblity for your own impact on life.
Shot in the “mockumentary” format, the camerawork and editing is loose and informal, often focusing on capturing off-the-cuff moments, gestures and non-sequiturs. The style of the film suits its main character, however, and feels often as chaotic, free-wheeling yet oddly engaging as she is.
The narrative is fairly circumscribed in scope, confined both in time and space to one event in one location. The weight of the film’s engagement rests on the shoulders of its main performer, actor Arnijka Larcombe-Weate, who plays the role of a willful, thorny, mercurial star with great flair and naturalism. She captures both the self-absorption and recklessness that got her in trouble in the first place, but also an innate intelligence and longing for more.
The character travels a great arc in the short, hinging on a great moment of reflection and memory that allows the audience a glimpse into her troubled mind, and shows just why a small play at her home is such a triumph for her. Watching her direct what is essentially her own small redemption in the form of art is subtly inspiring, as is watching her parlay that small victory into greater self-awareness.
“Now A Minor Motion Picture” is charming, funny, sharp and brisk in its telling, but at heart it’s about someone confronting their regrets and seeing how their own behavior and attitudes have shaped the limited situation they find themselves in. Feeling much like a snapshot of one woman’s life, it captures the process of gaining self-awareness and growth, in all its messiness and struggle.