Supper’s Ready is one unique short film, and I’m not entirely sure if it’s good or not. Hear me out: the film certainly fills up its 8 minutes and change, and there’s a story of some sort to be had there, but then again, not really. It looks pretty good, and there’s a couple subversive bones in my body that like a number of the creative choices the film makes, but I also don’t necessarily mean that makes them good choices. But I’m ahead of myself.
O’Donoghue (Callen Diederichs) and Delacroix (Charles Lemire) sit down to dinner in their cabin and are interrupted by Captain John Stafford (Troy Hudson) of the Royal Canadian Militia. Stafford has the place surrounded, and wants the two to surrender lest they be killed… which isn’t what happens, because they reluctantly grab their guns and return to the dinner table with the captive Captain. The next day, our duo walks the Captain out into the woods, where they release him to find his way home, if he can.
And… that’s it. Except for the opening landscape shots, the main “action” takes place in a static shot at the dinner table, which means, when the two gunslingers get up to fight Stafford and company, we hear it, but we don’t see a damn thing. That’s what I mean by subversive choices; part of me is saying, “What a cop out!” and the other part of me is saying, “YES! Deny me what I expect!” I may have issues.
The look of the film evokes spaghetti westerns, so it’s obvious great thought and care went into the overall aesthetic, but then we’re left with a short where pretty much nothing happens. We don’t know much about any of the characters or their motivations, all we got was a dinner, hostage-taking and hostage-releasing, in as simple and matter-of-fact a portrayal as you could come up with. Just what is going on here?
The film looks and sounds good, and they went for an obvious aesthetic and style, so points there. I also got a surprising laugh out of one of the Captain’s lines (because it seems so out of place in the prim-and-proper feel of the scene in which it comes). The acting, insomuch that there is any, isn’t really the greatest, and Callen Diederichs, who plays O’Donoghue and wrote and directed the short, suffers the most there.
Supper’s Ready is just a unique beast. It’s got so much quality going for it, when it comes up so obviously short on story, you can’t help but wonder if you missed something. And perhaps I did, but while I think the Emperor may not be wearing any clothes, that doesn’t mean his naked body doesn’t look nice. And that’s the film: a great-looking naked Emperor.
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