I was wholly moved by this film, and I think it may be the best thing I’ve seen at the LLGFF. The concept of a man in his fifties going on a date with a teenage boy while his daughter runs off to spend the evening with a dodgy character is already intriguing. Its execution is delicate and thought-provoking; every shot tells a story and every actor plays with a nuance that strikes the heart. It was the use of dialogue/pauses and the way that they are interweaved with a web of techniques to achieve the film’s goals that especially struck me.
The interactions between Abi and Dexter also provide an elegant and triumphant – yet authentic – reversal of the male-seer, female-seen dichotomy. Although we expect Dexter to be ‘persistent until successful’ with Abi in keeping with the prevailing myth of courtship propagated in popular film, it is Abi who has the agency in every scene. It is when she calls him that he is allowed to come and pick her up; she kisses him first; she tells him to take her to his house; and so on until she dictates his final sentiment by refusing the gift of a photograph.