Mourning has Broken (2012) – By Michael Smith

Written, directed, and produced by Brett and Jason Butler, Mourning has Broken follows a husband (Robert Nolan) who wakes up to discover that his ill wife has died in the night.

This blackly comic film looks at a bereaved man trying to “ignore” his personal tragedy and reacting to things throughout his day in ever increasing acts of frustration and over-the-top consequences to the things and people that annoy the hell out of him.

We follow him as he goes through his day, crossing items off of his “chore” list; driving through town and picking up things and steadily getting a very stressed out attitude to all the irritating people he meets and interacts with.

The Butler brothers have done a brilliant job depicting a man who reacts to those things that irritate us as well. Getting annoyed at: bad drivers, poor parkers, inconsiderate idiots, pushy neighbors or customers, and taking his frustration out in ever increasing acts of ire.

Robert Nolan is brilliant as the man who can’t face his wife’s demise and instead goes out and tries to cope with life as if everything were normal. He shows each tiny crack as it starts to grow into a chasm that he is slowly toppling into. The thing he does best, in his ceaseless internal monologue, is to remind us how these things irritate us as well and how thin the line of control and acceptance really is.

Shot on the Canon 5D MKII, the film looks brilliantly crisp, clear and the lighting is spot on. Cinematographer Michael Jari Davison shot everything with existing light, even the scene in the cinema. You would never believe that this is a lo-no budget film.

This film was made as part of the Toronto 1K Feature Film Challenge, which meant it had to be shot, edited and finalized in a three-month turn around for one thousand Canadian dollars.