The lovingly preserved Volkswagen Beetle that arrives, deathly ill, to a small car repair shop, belies all the cylinders that this adorable Australian short is running on. High octane direction and production design surround this tale of sadness and hope from writer Rhys Mitchell and director Jessica Barclay Lawton (with both producing). It centers on several usual characters finely drawn by the small cast, notably William Gluth, John Brumpton, and Mitchell.
They are Alan, a heartbroken widower and sculptor on his way to place memories on his wife’s gravestone, Danny, a sweaty, honest, and ultimately sympathetic owner of the garage, and Fingers, an endearing mechanic sidekick. The car, which had belonged to Alan’s late wife Christine, was well past its expiration date when it came coughing smoke, its transmission shot, to this fate-filled crossroads. The sadness of both losses in Alan’s life causes Danny to suggest an unlikely solution to Alan’s grief-filled, entrancing predicament.
Winner of the Best Live Action 15 Minutes or Under Award at the 2013 Palm Springs International ShortFest, this one is definitely a crowd pleaser. Sure, it may be a one joke movie, but it also provides a heartwarming breath of human kindness. A great pick-me-up.