Writer-director Vasco Alexandre’s Yard Kings is a touching short film about home, loyalty, and fresh starts. The film follows Ellie (Elle Atkinson), a young girl living in a trailer with her mom (Caroline Lazarus) and her mom’s abusive boyfriend (Jermaine Ricketts). Ellie spends her days at the scrapyard with her friend Pete (David Price), where they watch cars get crushed and build a house together out of scraps they find.
“…they watch cars get crushed and build a house together out of scraps they find.”
Jakub Rogala’s cinematography is gorgeous, and every scene of the film looks beautiful. Great costumes, beautiful colors, and emotive close-ups draw you into Ellie and Pete’s world. However, the highlight of Yard Kings for me is the scenes with the kids creating a world, a safe home, for themselves.
Alexandre is telling a pretty classic story here but does so quite well. Plus, it is always fun to see what kids do when left to their own devices. Atkinson and Price are both first-time actors and collaborated with the filmmaker on their dialogue. This totally shines through in the children’s performances, as the two young people feel natural and authentic in front of the camera. Atkinson and Price are charming, humorous, believable, and they carry Yard Kings.
"…Atkinson and Price are charming, humorous, [and] believable..."