Oblivious

A woman and her lover get surprised when her boyfriend arrives home early.

Genre: Comedy

Length: 10:00

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : S E J Wood, Jo Gewirtz

Director/s : S E J Wood, 

Writer/s : S E J Wood, 

Actor/s : Kirsty Averton, Tom Stourton

 

Ignorance is Bliss

Part farce, part tragedy, Oblivious centres on Ellie’s desperate attempts to keep her partner Paddy oblivious to the fact that her lover Stuart is hiding in their flat. Poor Stuart himself is oblivious to the fact that Ellie is a mercenary cow, whose head may turn (back) to Paddy now that his career prospects have skyrocketed. Certainly she’s not about to turn down the holiday in the Maldives that’s on offer. It gets even more complicated when their pals turn up for drinks.

The 20-second title sequence sets up the situation with confident economy. Script, direction and acting combine well to handle the comedy, with Kirsty Averton especially in fine form as Ellie. She never overdoes the “poor me” to Paddy’s face as she manipulates him, feigning illness, or the “oh my god what do I do now?” when he’s not looking. This kind of intrinsically wordy comedy needs this level of strong acting or it quickly falls flat.

It also needs movement, and the story keeps Ellie and Stuart running from bedroom to living room to kitchen and to balcony. Classic farce, but not theatrical.

Oblivious does suffer from a minor sin, shared with many low-budget shorts, that the home looks totally unlived-in. Perhaps the locations are rented from Air BnB. It’s a minor quibble, but producers, please note: don’t skimp on art direction! Another issue of technique is some editing to compress the small-talk in one scene. In principle, it’s a good idea that keeps the story moving; in practice it’s executed with too many jump-cut wide shots, rather than being disguised by changes of angle and subject.

But these are sideline matters that don’t detract, or distract, from the unfolding story. The main thing is, the audience remains oblivious to the fact that this is director Wood’s first film.

no public screener