Many people avoid short films because they think they are inferior to full-length features. “Goodnight Bill” is the type of short film that would turn one of those naysayers into a believer. It is funny, touching and on par with any two hour epic.
The story follows two old men, Bill (Michael Marcus) and Terry (Michael Higgins), stuck in a hospital room together. Bill is cantankerous and doesn’t like roommates, but would be able to tolerate Terry if the man wasn’t gay. The fact that he likes men so rankles Bill that he won’t even get out of bed to urinate for fear of Terry getting a glimpse of his a*s through his hospital gown. Terry takes Bill’s homophobia in stride, though. You can tell he’s lived through worse (like a World War) and doesn’t care too much about what the world thinks about him. His homosexuality isn’t his entire being, either, and it’s those other aspects of his life that form a bridge between him and his roommate.
This movie, which is just under twenty minutes in length, is a brilliant showcase of what short films are capable of achieving in the right hands. There is a sublime beauty to brevity, and nowhere is this more apparent than with this film.