Intense and leaving a strong, lasting impression, The Southern Belle is the tale of two men whose lives cross at just the right time. Or maybe, just the wrong time, depending on how you feel like looking at it.
Josh (Ethan Sharrett) is in haggard condition. His family life is in disarray after his wife finds out about the mistress he had going on the side, and at the top of his frustration, he climbs into the back of Bob’s (Theodore Bouloukos) cab and spills his life story to the stranger. Bob is a quiet sort, looking like a gentle, wise bear, and he dutifully listens to Josh’s story before pulling over to tell a little tale of his own. A story with far-reaching consequences for both men.
The short looks incredible, sounds great and the performances by both Sharrett and Bouloukos are top notch. I didn’t like the character of Josh much at all; hard to sympathize with someone whining about the f****d-up life they lead when they’re the ones who f****d it up, but by the end Sharrett managed to squeeze some compassion out of me, and that takes some talent. Especially when you realize where it’s all going.
It says a lot for the short that the entire story plays out amongst two men talking in a car; notoriously not the most compelling way to tell a story, but it never comes off as boring or tired. I’m not sure what The Southern Belle is up to, if it’s playing festivals, screening online or out there in some other form of distribution for everyone to see, but I don’t think I’ll be the last person to sing its praises.
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