Awakening (2014) – By Misty Layne

Awakening is a short satirical drama, following a confused Saint who must choose between desire and duty. Since time began, God has employed Saints to help manage the overwhelming task of keeping the mortal world in order. But today is their last day of work. God has fired every Saint. It is time to take the training wheels off of human beings. At the Office of the Saints, in a crypt based in a parallel world, Saint Margaret is in crisis over this drastic change. Faced with a number of different and difficult choices, Saint Margaret feels paralyzed.

Written and directed by Gaelle Mourre, Awakening is both funny and heartwarming. Tracy Wiles puts in a strong performance as the unsure and uneasy at leaving her job Saint Margaret. She enchants her way through the film – busy wringing her hands, turning down romantic offers to spend paradise together, repeatedly calling God on an old fashioned phone only to be placed in a queue or told that He’s unavailable and finally being semi-charmed by Lucifer himself. That last one is certainly understandable – I’d let this Lucifer charm me any day of the week…oh, but yes, the film…Saint Margaret stole my heart in her dilemma, my favorite part being when she’s standing in front of a wall in their office (which is a crypt by the way), facing many images of God and Jesus and asking him why he’s doing this to her. It’s very human and very real and very lovely.

The saints’ office is gorgeous. As I mentioned before, it’s a crypt but with rich nooks and crannies and beautiful religious imagery. Saint Margaret is bolstered by several co-worker’s performances, including the saint that asks her to stay in paradise with him and a female coworker who insists she meet them down at the pub and see what this human thing is about. She’s literally being torn from all sides…but the meeting with Lucifer causes her to make her final decision. What decision is that exactly? Not sure but that’s half the fun, right?

Considering this is a student film from the London Film School, I’m wholly impressed. Gorgeous, endearing and humorous, this film is one of a kind. I can’t wait to see what Gaelle puts out in the future!

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