Corvidae

Young Jay comes to the defense of innocent birds and is adopted into the corvidae.

The short film Corvidae opens on an overcast winter day in the countryside. Despite the inclement weather, Jay (Maisie Williams) is out, playing as clouds of crows swirl in the sky above her. The clouds give way to a shower and Jay discovers a deceased bird. Jay is saddened, yet puzzled as to why this creature and it’s entire nest have crashed to the ground from the tree above. That’s when she makes a cruel discovery about a group of young boys that often traverse the same area.

Soon enough this group of ruffians is near, setting up bottles for target practice when a single crow lands near one of the intended targets. A slight nudge to the left and the aim is squarely on the jet-black animal. Jay, who has been witness this whole time rescues the animal and nurses the creature back to health. It is here that a strange bond forms. Yet nothing is really different until the swarms of winged defenders come to her aid in kind.

“…rescues the animal and nurses the creature back to health. It is here that a strange bond forms.”

Beautiful and mysterious, Corvidae is an accomplished short film from writer-director Tom De Ville. Dialogue is non-existent in this fable of a young girl that forms an even stronger connection with the animals she finds so much joy in. Yet for all of its polish, we need just a little more. The story takes a turn in the second half that builds to a reveal that never comes.

All technical aspects are totally up to snuff and beautiful. The murky tones of grey produced by the combination of Maija Zamojda’s photography, Ben Kovar’s visual design, and Jeny Ray’s Art direction practically had me grabbing for my sweater. Adam Norden’s elegant, yet cold score matches the visuals and mood perfectly.

Basically, this is a worthy short film that left me saying what I always say in these cases; Give me more!  I liked what was here. It was beautiful and tonally consistent. I want to see more of this story, but what I have is still with me.

Corvidae (2018) Written and directed by Tom de Ville. Starring Maisie Williams Jaimie Davis, Archie Duffy, Joe Wolstenholm, Edward Wallace.

7 out of 10 stars

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