New Shoes Image

New Shoes

By Alan Ng | February 15, 2022

Life is hard, and yet, we’re all in it together. Films like Thommy Kane and Bojan Vanovac’s New Shoes tells the story of a young teen forced to grow up too quickly.

Tristan (Jacob Moran) desperately needs new shoes as the soles are slowly peeling away. Sitting on the porch of his home, he waits for his mother, Elaine (Laura Whiteley), to finish with her “boyfriend” for the day. When she’s done, she asks Tristan for help with a strap so that she can get her daily fix.

Later, tensions explode when Tristan tells Elaine that he needs a new pair of shoes. The poor single mother starts screaming about all she does for him and how he’s good for nothing. Then, she raises the money begrudgingly, the only way she knows how as Tristan waits outside.

“…starts screaming about all she does for him and how he’s good for nothing.”

New Shoes is pretty straightforward with its narrative, but its subject matter makes the twenty-minute short a tough watch (which is a compliment). Jacob Moran gives a stellar performance as Tristan. He nails the character arc of a young man, refusing to become victim to his place in life and finding the courage to stand up for himself and find value. However, the story, told from his perspective, wouldn’t work as well if not for Moran. As Elaine, Laura Whiteley creates this whirlwind of audience disdain and sympathy for a troubled mother caught up in an endless cycle.

Thommy Kane and Bojan Vanovac’s New Shoes is solid storytelling about the ability to rise above one’s station and find hope in the end. The co-directors also quite brilliantly capture the weapon of emotional manipulation. The film has a raw grittiness, and its filmmakers are willing to take narrative chances, which is precisely what I like to see in short films.

New Shoes (2022)

Directed: Thommy Kane, Bojan Vanovac

Written: Thommy Kane

Starring: Jacob Moran, Laura Whiteley, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

New Shoes Image

"…brilliantly capture[s] the weapon of emotional manipulation."

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  1. Thomas Abate says:

    Great short film. Actors are real

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