DANCES WITH FILMS 2023 REVIEW! The bond of friendship is pushed to the extreme in McKenzie Chinn’s short film, A Real One. Set in south-side Chicago, high school teens Lauren (Eris Baker) and Keisha (Ireon Roach) are best friends. This friendship is put to the test when Keisha walks in on Lauren and her teacher, Mr. Branson (Matthew Amador), in an inappropriate embrace. When the angry Keisha bolts, Lauren chases after.
“This friendship is put to the test when Keisha walks in on Lauren and her teacher…”
A Real One is simply a solid film from start to finish. It’s a bit cliche for a reviewer to complement the cinematography, but it’s top-notch. The camera is almost always moving, which bolsters the action of a film that is mostly Lauren and Keisha talking. It would have been easy to keep the camera fixed while the two stood there and talked. One conversation involves the two of them walking down a sidewalk as the camera pans around them to work hand-in-hand with the dialogue.
The performances of Baker and Roach are fantastic. It’s subtle, which makes it authentic to the tone of the two teenagers. Lastly, the story of A Real One really gets into the emotion of the situation. Keisha struggles to support her friend while not supporting her actions. Meanwhile, Lauren thinks she has found love, a real one. In the end, she sees a true friend, a real one.
A Real One screened at the 2023 Dances With Films.
"…Baker and Roach are fantastic."