The Magic Words Image

The Magic Words

By Alan Ng | March 28, 2023

Look, there is something seriously wrong with writer-director Jeffrey Limoncelli’s short film, The Magic Words, and I love that about it.

Grayson (Rhys Jackson Becker) is a young boy asked to recite a passage from scripture for his first communion. So naturally, our hero is determined to do it right. To that end, he arrives at the church early to rehearse. The problem for Grayson is his rival, Ralph (Leo Brien), who is clearly jealous of Grayson’s opportunity.

To ease the tension between the two, Ralph gives Grayson a gift in the form of a soon-to-be-published book of famous spells from history. It’s a book that Grayson has been patiently waiting for. Ralph asks Grayson to recite some of the hexes, such as the Harry Potter spell “wingardium leviosa.” All goes well until Ralph gets Grayson to read a verse from the… well, best to watch the film for spoiler sake.

Ralph asks Grayson to recite some of the hexes…”

I don’t want to reveal what comes next, but rest assured, The Magic Words is insane, made all the better because children are involved. First, let me say kudos to Limoncelli for getting excellent performances from his young leads, Becker and Brien. I’ve seen my fair share of indie film performances from children, and these two just rock this absurd script.

I’ll also say that some of the things that the characters say are cringe-inducing and absolutely brilliant. Sorry, but I love films willing to go in directions that buck so-called “common” decency. Absurdity has its place, especially in comedy, and you’ll find it’s in abundance here.

If you are easily offended, this is not the short film for you. But, for the rest of us, Limoncelli’s The Magic Words is, well, pure magic.

The Magic Words (2023)

Directed and Written: Jeffrey Limoncelli

Starring: Rhys Jackson Becker, Leo Brien, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

The Magic Words Image

"…cringe-inducing and absolutely brilliant."

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