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The Independent Critic

Adam Lavin, Maddie Phillips, Peter Grey
Mackie Bryson-Bucci
Mackie Bryson-Bucci, Frances McDonald
10 Mins.


 "Antoinette" Picks Up Heartland Film Fest Prize 
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10-year-old Alex (Adam Lavin) lives in the childish world of his imagination with his stuffed bear. Then, he meets Antoinette (Maddie Phillips), an exchange student who comes to live in his home and with whom he's instantly smitten.

Do you know where this is going? Probably.

Does it always make sense? Umm, nope.

Antoinette does, however, give its viewers 10-minutes of an entertaining and enchanting tale that will transport you into the vivid imagination of Alex's vivid imagination while also making you feel and think about his affections, so very real for him, for this charming yet out of reach young woman.

Director Mackie Bryson-Bucci doesn't play the story for laughs, but instead tries, for the most part successfully, to capture the innocence and wonder of a first crush and the letting go, albeit tentatively, of those things that defined our childhood in favor of those things that lift us ever so gently over that line that allows us to cross from childhood to adolescence.

Lavin is joyful and spirited as Alex, while Maddie Phillips avoids cliche's and embodies Antoinette as a sweet, sensitive, and sensual young woman whose every moment onscreen makes you realize exactly why Alex is falling for her.

Winner of an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Heartland Film Festival High School Film Competition, Antoinette is sweet, a little quirky, and such a delight that you'll remember young Alex and those puppydog eyes long after the closing credits.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic