The Motions Image

The Motions

By Alan Ng | February 24, 2020

So, what would you do? Frank Donnagelo and Brady Morell’s short film, The Motions, immerses us into a tough situation and subtly asks…what would you do?

Mrs. Nelson (Rebecca Avery) is a paramedic just about to start her second of two shifts. Her phone rings, and she lets it go to voicemail. Later, while at a local diner with her partner, Connor (Charles Maceo), the phone rings again and it’s her husband, Jonathan (Lane Compton). We only hear her side of the conversation as she ends the call with, “Can we not do this now!”

After a long night, trying to save the life of a junkie, Mrs. Nelson asks Connor to get a beer with her. Wisely, he tells her to go home. It’s clear that going home is the very thing she’s been avoiding to this point in the film.

“Jonathan is dying. He’d prefer to do it on his terms if his wife would help.”

At home, the apartment is quiet. Passing the bathroom, Jonathan is hunched over the toilet vomiting. Turning to his wife, he asks the question, “Have you thought about it?” Jonathan is dying. He’d prefer to do it on his terms if his wife would help.

The Motions is about putting off the hard decisions—as if putting it off will make the problem go away. Another way to put it is “avoiding the inevitable”—as if avoiding will make the problem go away. We’ve all been there, and that’s what makes The Motions work as a short film. It’s that connection to our personal experience. That one where if we wait long enough, the problem will hopefully fix itself or go away. But it never does, so yeah…we must make a decision. There’s a comfort, or empathy that comes from The Motions.

The Motions (2020)

Directed and Written by Frank Donnangelo

Starring Yaz Canli, Lane Compton, Charles Maceo, Rebecca Avery, Sarah Rodenbaugh, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

The Motions Image

"…if we wait long enough, the problem will hopefully fix itself or go away."

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