Omeleto

Metroland

By Benjamin Bee | Comedy
A man and his sister take their dead mother on one last trip to an amusement park.

Ben’s mother has just passed away in the hospital in the middle of the night, bringing his sister Sam to the scene.

The two very different siblings have a contentious relationship, which only grows more combative when Ben spirits his mother’s body out of the hospital to enjoy one last visit to Metroland, a local amusement park.

But the visit allows the pair to sift through their shared family history and memories, and eventually they find some common ground — and come together for one last family ride.

Writer-director Benjamin Bee’s offbeat family dramedy mixes a mordantly funny premise with the cinematic language of British naturalism, parlaying them into a gently eccentric yet heartfelt meditation on the bonds of family.

What’s pleasurable about Bee’s short is how, even in the most dramatic of situations, people still remain themselves in all their awkwardness, chattering about minutiae that seems to have no bearing on the situation at hand and being triggered by long-time patterns into petty bickering. Well-written and edited with a unique tempo that feels both drawling and piquante, the storytelling both keeps events and decisions moving forward while allowing for amusing, offbeat moments that build character and relationships.

The dialogue here — like the approach of the entire film — is often gently irreverent, yet there’s a sense of warm affection towards the characters. Ben has the outlines of being a laid-back slacker, and Sam his more neurotic, conscientious counterpart, but neither are lampooned and satirized for their personalities or temperaments. Above all, they are brother and sister, and members of a family, and they’re defined primarily as such.

Actors Daniel-John Williams and Rachel Teate capture both the different personalities and the common ground they have as siblings. They look quite different from each other, but their arguing has the casual familiarity of long-time siblings, and as a result, their back-and-forth is quite sharp and funny in both words and delivery. But both are able to delve into the deeper, more tender feelings and memories that their mother’s death inspires, which helps them bridge their own differences, if only for the occasion.

What works in “Metroland” is that the film eschews the typical build-up to a big emotional moment, therefore avoiding saccharine emotions. Instead, the emotional shifts happen gently, with their own unique rhythm and unfolding — which makes the ending feel all the more earned. Like the rest of the film, the final images are quirky, a little gritty and ultimately heartwarming in its strange, pure evocation of joy.





You Might Also Like:

Mordechai

By Benjamin Bee | Drama
An ultra-orthodox Jew hasn't seen his identical twin brother in years. But today is the day of their father's funeral.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
Her husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman confronts a painful time in her life after discovering the truth about a mysterious old man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man, upon dying, is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Cradle

By Devon Manney | Animation
Returning to the U.S. after losing both arms, a veteran battles phantom pains, prosthetics and memories of his pre-war life.

Hold On

By Charlotte Scott-Wilson | Drama
A young cellist develops stage fright after one of her cello strings comes lose during an important performance.

Don’t Be a Hero

By Pete Lee | Drama
A middle-aged woman battles her loneliness and boredom by robbing banks in the guise of a cowboy on her lunch break.

Our Kind of Love

By Elham Ehsas and Azeem Bhati | Romance
An Afghan village girl goes on her first date in London.

Lost and Found

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A clumsy crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A once-legendary farmer takes a chance and invests his life savings in a thoroughbred piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
Two strangers, trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception, end up making an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

Garfield

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. Then, she start to piece together how she got there.

Partners

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's love life begins to slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship and confront how intertwined they've become.

Balance

By Mark Ram | Drama
Two friends climb a mountain, connected by a rope. But when one falls, the other's life hangs in an unstable balance.


Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening. That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.