Two for the Show is the latest short from Rebel Pictures and award-winning Director/Writer/Actor/Editor Michael McCallum. The film is hitting the festival circuit where his previous feature Buffalo has done well, winning several awards. Two For the Show should see the same or more success.
A deceptively simple tale at first glance, it takes what could have been some horrible cliches and spins them out in a couple of unexpected directions. Bryan, (played by McCallum) has been avoiding going back home to see his dying father, (played by his real life father William). After being shamed for it he decides to go, his visit coinciding with his high school reunion. A chance observation of a man abusing his wife leads to a one night stand and thoughts of retribution. Things don’t goes as expected however, to say more would spoil things.
Apart from the script which does such a great job of twisting cliched situations, Two For the Show also features solid acting and great cinematography. This is a very polished film, one that looks better than many features. Michael McCallum and Liz Nolan give brilliant performances in the lead roles while Dennis Link makes her husband into somebody with a bit more depth than the standard abusive spouse.
It’s shot very professionally and has the look of a much more expensive film. Setting the right mood is important to a story like this and the photography captures all right moods for the sterile hospital where his father lies to the dingy bar where much of the film takes place. The settings and the story feel real, very real.
Two for the Show would have, in earlier times, turned up as an episode of an anthology show, or even a special feature by itself on PBS. Now we’ll have to hope it finds it’s way to DVD or VOD, something not guaranteed to shorts. Hopefully it will because this is a strong film that deserves an audience.