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'GOD OF LOVE': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
This 18 minute black and white short film won the Academy Award last year (2010) for best Live Action Short. It was written and directed by Luke Matheny. Matheny stars in the film as well. He shot the film on the Red One camera (very effectively) with director of photography Bobby Webster.
In the film Matheny plays an expert dart thrower and lounge singer named Raymond who's in love with a girl in his band named Kelly (Marian Brock). Kelly has strong romantic feelings for Ray's best friend Fozzie (Christopher Hirsh) though, who won't go near her due to 'friend code'. Ray prays before every show for God to show him a way to win over Kelly's affections. His prayers are answered one day (or so he thinks) when someone drops off a box of darts with magical 'love potion' powers. The trick is they only work for six hours so Ray must find a way to earn Kelly's 'true love' in that time.
The movie is quirky and charming and magically upbeat. It doesn't play down it's true message though and skimp out for cheap and clichéd effect. In that way the movie is especially strong. The performances are all great (especially Matheny) and the dialogue sharp and witty. The black and white is a nice effect and the cinematography is beautiful as well. It's hard to rate a film so short, as with all short films (it's not even the running length of a half hour sitcom), but taking that into account I'd have to say it's one of the better live action shorts I've ever seen. Very nicely done!
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