“Let her stay.”
Headlined by the likes of Leslie Bibb, Sam Rockwell and Callie Thorne, it is immediately clear that the industry is behind Robin Wright’s short The Dark of Night. Based on the turnout at its Cannes World Premiere, so are her fans.
The story itself is interesting enough: a late night dinner plays refuge to a woman seeking shelter from the storm. But the sanctuary is short lived as she finds herself in the midst of a complex plan where everyone has an agenda and no one is who they seem.
Shot in noir style that offers an intriguing experience that counters the current mainstream standard, Wright seeks inspiration from films of the 50s and 60s. While she nails that aspect of the story there is little else to get behind here.
Simplistic blocking and fairly bland scenery relies too much on the genre and the time period to drum up appeal. Instead of digging into the script Wright glances over the concept, offering no real connection as the final product is painfully predictable, especially when comparing it to her time behind the camera on Netflix’s House of Cards.
For what its worth Bibb, Rockwell and Thorne all preform well in their respective roles. Over the top and full of exasperated emotion, they embody the actors of the time period. But their delivery (along with Denise Meyers’ dialogue) can only get the film so far. It’s lack of creativity is hard proves too much to overcome.
While I will credit Wright and her team of actors for giving us a fresh perspective, there is ultimately something missing. While the visual black and white makes us originally feel that we are about to be in for a treat, the short isn’t impressive. It’s also not disappointing, which might be the worst thing about the situation. It is, for a lack of a better words, fine. Maybe it isn’t fair, but with Wright’s resume, I expected something better.