Omeleto

The Room In the Elephant

By Tricia Lee | Drama
A terminally-ill mother leaves Post-Its around the home for her daughter.

Nicole has gotten some bad news recently and is preparing herself and her family for the worst. She’s trying to make sure they’re taken care of and thinking ahead of a time when she’s gone and her husband and their seven-year-old daughter Katie are alone.

But when Nicole finally tells Katie why she’s leaving Post-Its around the home, Katie’s response pulls Nicole out of thinking of a future going on without her — and into appreciating the time she still has left in her home, with the people she loves most.

Written and directed by Tricia Lee from a story by Kimberly Jentzen, this dramatic short is unabashed in its sincerity and straightforwardness, wearing an open heart and vulnerability on its sleeve. But its short, simple plot and graceful, natural style belie its rich, relevant themes to appreciate the moment, even in the face of doubt, anxiety and almost certain heartbreak.

The narrative revolves around a simple shift in consciousness for the main character, delivered in the form of a short conversation. It functions much like a snapshot, or a portrait of a moment in one family’s life, and the visual approach likewise seems to dote upon the small, domestic details of home and family life in a similarly diaristic, documentary-like way. There’s a luminous, comforting brightness to the look and feel that feels both heightened and nostalgic at once, conjuring warmth and joy that makes palpable just what Nicole is leaving behind, and how hard it is to let go of.

The writing and performances, too, have the quality of being open and unadorned in their simplicity, with an almost old-fashioned commitment to sincere and authentic expression. This is not a realist/naturalistic storytelling agenda, focusing on the unvarnished and unspoken issues and feelings between and within people. Instead, the arc of the story hinges on saying and listening to what’s really in one’s heart and clearing the air, even within one’s self, to make space for what’s important. And when Katie asks her an innocent yet essential question, it opens up space within Nicole to reflect on what’s truly important — and a chance to shift everything going forward.

Some films we watch to be taken on an escapist journey, enjoying a stylish ride and a clever twist on storytelling. But some films — like “The Room In the Elephant” — we watch for something like a sense of companionship, to help us through an unexpected, often confusing journey in life.

Many of us may or may not be facing a terminal illness, but we can understand what it is like to live with uncertainty hanging over our heads, grieving the futures we imagined and shrouding them in doubt, fear and anxiety. The film’s final lesson — that all we can guarantee is now — is an apt one, both essential, wise and so basic to human happiness. And one we need reminding of, more than ever.





You Might Also Like:

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Sci-Fi
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Joseph’s Reel

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

Lost and Found (The Oscars)

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

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make 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 (Sundance)

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy.

Partners (Sundance)

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's sex life is in a slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship.

Spoetnik

By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man works in a food truck, across from a brothel with a girl who needs his help.

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A young woman finds a one-night stand. But he lives 2 hours away via public transit.


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.