Teenager Olivia (Raffaella Meloni) is feeling alone in the world. With no one to confide in except her journal, and with an almost constant barrage of abuse and bullying from her sister (Katelyn Collins) to deal with, Olivia sinks into sadness… until the old typewriter she found in the garage of her house begins typing on its own.
As Olivia watches the keys move, she begins to write down the message coming through the typewriter. The communication is from a young woman named Janet (Ali Berman), who also lived in the house Olivia now lives in, only back in 1947. As the two converse, it becomes clear that they both have much in common, including a secret they’ve been afraid to reveal to anyone thus far.
Filmmaker Gary Ploski’s short film quiet de luxe is a very interesting premise handled with just the right amount of mystery, innocence and quality imagery. The idea that someone who feels alone in this world can find a connection, even a somewhat supernatural one via an old typewriter, is not just universally relatable, but also hopeful.
And while it is never explicitly stated what the secret is that Olivia and Janet may share in common, the bullying patter of Olivia’s sister and other aspects of Olivia and Janet’s conversations leads me to believe that there may be a sexual preference component at play too. Which, if that’s the case, the survival in the face of bullying and “you are not alone” message is all that more relevant and timely.
Again, quiet de luxe is a very simple film, but don’t let its simple nature lead you to believe there isn’t a power to it. Of course, much of that strength comes from the importance and meaning that the audience imparts onto the film, but it says something to have a film that is that amiable to such interpretation without having it also feel like an overly ambiguous, narratively lazy cop-out.
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