Still Life (2015) – By Misty Layne


STILL LIFE, starring Mick Fitzgerald, Ruth Hayes, & Stephen O’ Connor and directed by Oisin Mac Coille, is a sweet slice of life short drama about a turning point in the lives of two people, a father and daughter, as they cope with the father’s dementia. Clocking in right around the 11-minute point, STILL LIFE shows us the life of said daughter who has stopped dancing to live with and take care of her father as he struggles with his journey with dementia. And it shows the life of said father who spends his days drawing beautiful renderings of various forms, but oftentimes objects that are requested (such as a cup) to help keep his memory sharp. The father repeatedly tells his daughter she should’ve kept dancing while the daughter repeatedly replies that she couldn’t. Round and round they go.

Both the actors here, playing the father and daughter, are quite adept in their roles. In particular, I enjoyed the father, who in turns was confused, angered and reminiscent. He displayed such subtle shifts betwixt the emotions that one absolutely felt for him. Likewise, the woman playing the daughter, who longs to dance instead of care for her father, all while knowing she is “too old” to dance any longer, played her role with quiet aplomb. There was another actor in the mix, a random player who dropped by occasionally, but I have no idea who he was or what his role was other than being a reassuring figure for the daughter.

The reason for that being, I had issues with the sound in places. Daughter and father had an apparently very touching scene in the park, for example, but I could barely hear a word of it over the background noise and music. I tried adjusting the speakers on my laptop 3 times and tried headphones and nothing helped, so I assume it was the sound mix and not my computer. That was a bummer because they were discussing the girl’s mother who ditched them at some point and it all seemed very sweet. Other than the sound though, no complaints. Just a simple, straightforward drama about an important topic.

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