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The Independent Critic

Donlee Brussel
Running Time
14 Mins.
Steve Gelder

 "Cabbie" Review 
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Originally screened by The Independent Critic during its debut run at the Lake County Film Festival in March 2007, "Cabbie" was a modestly entertaining comedy short featuring a marvelously deadpan performance from Steve Gelder as an aspiring cabbie who can't seem to pass the driver's test.

Flashing forward to 2009, director Donlee Brussel has sharpened "Cabbie" throughout its two-year festival run and turned the finished product into a comedy gem that runs a full eight minutes shorter and has been edited to achieve a crisper, fuller comic effect. Gelder, who improvises the majority of his lines with delightful results, infuses wannabe cabbie Marty Yacovelli with the perfect blend of deadpan seriousness and an almost childlike yearning for the cabbie life. Gelder's Yacovelli has practiced and practiced and practiced for that day when he finally passes his required exam and becomes a Chicago cabbie, and it's Gelder's ability to sell Yacovelli's sincerity that turns "Cabbie" into a funny, heartfelt comedy short that is already taking home festival prizes since the release of its new cut in October of 2009.

Proof positive of the value of the festival circuit for the independent filmmaker, Brussel has clearly listened to feedback from audiences and peers alike and turned "Cabbie" from a near miss to a cinematic delight.
    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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