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Life Doesn't Frighten Me (2012)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  22 May 2012 (Canada)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 67 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

Insecure thirteen year-old Esther Weary is on the brink of puberty and must come to terms with the realities of becoming a woman with her well-meaning grandpa and his pet pug.

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(as Stephen Patrick Dunn)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jade Aspros ...
Esther Weary
...
Francis Weary
Leah McPherson ...
Gabby
...
Mrs. Grundy
Oliver Ungar ...
Richard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Lion / Pinata Boy
Theodore Pucak ...
Boy in Mexican Costume
...
Girl Dressed as Cheerleader
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Storyline

Insecure thirteen year-old Esther Weary is on the brink of puberty and must come to terms with the realities of becoming a woman with her well-meaning grandpa and his pet pug.

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Release Date:

22 May 2012 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Das Leben macht mir keine Angst  »

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Budget:

CAD 20,000 (estimated)
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Trivia

Gordon Pinsent agreed to take on the role of Francis Weary through a poem written to writer/director Stephen Dunn. See more »

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User Reviews

A bit too deliberately quirky but has a tougher core that stops it being just a load of "indie spirited" clichés
12 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Opening with a sense of the quirkiness of the short may seen to put us firmly in indie coming-of-age comedy drama territory (and you'd be partly right) but to then follow that with a darker scene where a girl appears to hang herself in a depiction of how she feels her classmates view her suggests that there may be more to this than that. The truth is a combination which never really breaks out of genre territory but does at least fit in comfortable rather than feeling like just a shorter, cheaper copy of other work. The plot sees Esther reaching the point of puberty on the same day as being told her nose is too big and therefore she is ugly. Going home needing support and guidance, all she finds is her grandfather who has advice, although perhaps not the most delicate.

There is a overly quirky tone to this film which is deliberate – the time of year, the Halloween costumes, the quirky grandfather, the odd choice of pet etc and I was braced not to really like it because of how hard it seemed to be pushing for "quirky indie spirit" rather than just letting it happen. However this is reasonably well countered with a slightly harder edge which pushes back with some scenes where the tone is a little less quirky and more practical – in particular the final shots. This doesn't totally save the film from being a collection of quirks, but it does add more substance in there.

The film is well shot and looks good throughout. Aspros and Pinsent both work well together although I would have liked a bit more time and material for both. Generally it works – it is very much a genre piece and familiar as a coming-of-age tale, but it just about has enough about it to be more than just the sum of its quirks.


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