Musical is always a tough one and being a fan of other Traces of Nut films I give the team credit for bravely going with a more serious tone, although I will admit I was waiting for an opportunity to laugh.
Some nice individual songs, good sound, very high production values, solid performances and I liked the attention to detail with the old car. Was that the Empire in Island Bay set dressed as a different named picture house? The poignant ending was nicely done.
Damn near perfect. They did a serious musical - hard choice, but they pulled it off. Set in a cabaret bar, the costumes, make-up and demeanour were all fantastic. DOP deserves a medal too.
Richard Falkner's music was convincing. Nice intercutting of the couple on show to the public and couple in private in their dressing room - made that rhyme and was quite impressive. Style-wise the music complemented the visual décor but went further as well - the percussive sequence in the car I thought captured his character's emotion very well. Gemma Boyle's voice and acting were spine-chilling. Picture and audio synced perfectly, as far as I could tell.
What initially felt like disconnected plot elements resolved itself in a very very powerful way. I was going to give this a 4 for confusion until a lightbulb went off and I got it. 5 stars, no question.
Ruby curtains give the backdrop for a burlesque-ish singer who sings about love; you can't take it if the other person won't give it to you.
We then go back in time to a jazzy tavern/pub where our lead actor when asked to dance by his gal advises that whilst she will always be his, he's not the sort to meet the parents. Their flirtatious behaviour is too much for the manager of the establishment though, who doesn't want any bloody babies running around.
However that issue does rear its head in short time, but with a bit of wire that issue could be resolved, right? Our lead laments his options; you can't take a child on the road...but it would also mean being a dad.
Quite a serious effort from Traces of Nut/EPC, the set design was phenomenal.
Another impressive effort from Traces of Nut, Ruby Red was a serious Cabaret style musical that had some brilliant acting and singing. This was the best in a competitive heat.
The set design was amazing, I couldn't believe the attention to detail, such as the posters and the car. Gemma gave this film a powerful opening, the juxtaposition of the couple was very clever, and their song was great.
The story was solid and I loved how all the strands came together. The cinematography was brilliant - the shots were beautiful and varied. The couple really sold their life stories in a matter of minutes.
It was a shame that the group before them had used the same coat-hanger gag as it did detract and take away some of the tension.
I also felt that a small section of the film was weaker than the rest, the section with the Father song up till when we go back into the dressing room, but this is minor considering how good the film was.
Traces of Nut FT EPC have contined to show us why the are one of the most feared teams in 48hours - because they're just so good.
Ah the old musical.
Everything about this film was well done, except it just didn't capture me or draw me in. Costumes, singing, songs, acting, cinematography.. all really good but something just didn't quite click, I had no connection with the characters and the story was... meh. To be honest you guys are super talented and had so much awesome talent and materials at your disposal! While this is a good film, it is a shame to waste all this greatness on an average story. Some of the actors were fantastic, the old man at the end was great I would love to have him as one of my actors.
Constructive critisim is really towards the directors/whoever came up with the idea for the story. With such great costumes, location and cast this could have been an epic tale that grabbed you.. but ended up for me as just another film. A well made film sure, but nothing irgional jumped off the page for me. It seems like there are two types of teams in this competition: Ones who know how to make good films, and ones that have crazy origional ideas.. if you could just have a crazy good idea next year nothing will stop you! Can't wait to see what you produce!
i can see where you guys went wrong,
there were no fart jokes,there was no cheap undergraduate humour,you nailed imo a traditional musical,your characters were believable, you did a serious film,you had high production values,and as for your art department!i have watched it 4 times now and i'm still not bored with it. there were no drugs,and no use of the word fuck just for the hell of it. well done guys.
WOW this was both beautiful and brilliant! I won't repeat the synopsis as other reviewers have that covered, but instead I'll try focus on moments in the film that were pitch-perfect, or I think could have been done a little better.
First off, fun little team intro + voiceover before going into the movie. This is totally nitpicking but I think you'd have been better off shooting the intro in a different location to the majority of your film - it's such a beautiful location and I wanted to be taken aback and surprised when it comes up on screen decked out with the cast in costume... but having seen it just before it lost just a little of it's initial punch. Just a thought though :)
Next, the singing starts... and my word what singing it is. The female lead is undoubtedly the stronger singer, but the male lead does an admirable job keeping up (most of the time - the 'no' song was a little off). But the lyrics, backing instruments, and the different 'feel' to each song were all spot-on - this is a proper musical, something I don't think I've ever seen in 48Hours before. Blew me away, actually, and the period setting was the perfect choice for this style of music (actually you probably had the location first and that informed your choice of style? guessing here).
So some shit happens and we're greeted with twist number 1 (omg she's alive)... which I (and I suspect many other people) saw coming as soon as the 'they're both dead' was announced. Didn't stop it from being a big/powerful moment, but I suspect it would have been more moving if we'd seen a little more of the couple's happiness together before the death/separation. But hey, 7 minutes, whatchu gonna do?
Twist number 2! The man opening the envelope from the start is the male lead many years later! I like this! It's an invitation (to yet another piece of beautiful art department), and after a rocky start he's reunited (or united? seeing as they haven't met before) with the daughter he didn't know he had. Cool use of the butterfly tattoo to show the connection, and a nice end freeze-frame of forgiveness.
Other cool stuff I liked:
Just having 'Bobby Young' on the envelope and not making a big deal of everyone's names, although that may be because I'm sick of hearing 'Bobby Young' in every bloody film.
The sets/costuming, as stated before, are outstanding, and I thought the cast did an admirable job also (some of those voices, wow!)
The plot resolves itself very nicely, hard to do with a foot in two time settings - both of which are period/historical settings!
Amazing stuff, and personally you'd have been one of my picks for the grand national final.