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Inside-Out (1999)

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6.5
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Girl cleaning windows of an Oxford St store catches the eye of a guy in the street who larks about much to her amusement

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Girl cleaning windows of an Oxford St store catches the eye of a guy in the street who larks about much to her amusement

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A quite continental feel in a silence film about missed opportunities
10 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A woman is dressing a window in Selfridges, London when she spots a man in the street outside with a clipboard. The man is trying, without much success, to stop people and ask them questions – she starts to laugh at his failures to do this and she is entertained until he spots her watching him. When he sees her, he isn't angry or annoyed but actually plays up to her as they flirt and laugh on either sides of the glass – however how long can this state of affairs continue?

Starting out with very French sounding music, this whole film has more of the feel of an experimental short film about love as opposed to a short comedy filming out the front window of Selfridges! The basic idea of the short is a comedy but it is also rather touching in a pleasant manner that took me by surprise. The film isn't that funny but it is rather 'nice' if that's not too bland a description. The direction films through coloured glass at times to good effect and we pretty much always see the other action through the glass, meaning the film is silent aside from some street noise. This all worked for me and gave the film a cool feel.

When the ending comes it is simple and yet somehow rather sad – hard to describe but it worked! The cast don't have a terrible lot to do but they both manage to feel pretty natural. McBurney looks as put-upon and tragic as many of those who do his character's job do and his excitement and playfulness is obvious, as he has made a connection with a woman who looks like Headey. Headey just laughs and smiles along and, aside from looking stunning, she has little to actually do.

Overall this is a simple but enjoyable little short film that, while not great, is enjoyable while you watch it and has a rather bittersweet ending that maybe shouts 'seize the day' to young lovers everywhere. The music gives it a continental feel and certainly the idea of young people laughing and enjoying themselves with strangers on sun-swept streets is not something I would picture taking place on the cold pavements outside a London clothes shop!


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