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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Jay Pulk
Eric Jaan, Michelle Messmer, Mike Murdock, Norm Roth
Running Time

 "Copper Penny" Review 
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After pulling a prostitute (Michelle Messmer) from the street, a desperate man's (Norm Roth) surprising request for something other than sex puts a twist on his already awkward situation.

Written and directed by Jay Pulk, this nearly six-minute drama short has been popular on the film festival circuit including a win for Best Drama Short at the Montgomery Film Festival and won 2nd place in the Drama Micro Film category at the Indie Gathering. A seemingly simple story, Copper Penny reveals its layers slowly as we moment-by-moment learn more about the story behind this man's desperation, and as well, that of the prostitute who makes a difficult choice.

Copper Penny is the kind of film that benefits from a second viewing, not always a possibility for films seen on the festival circuit. Yet, what feels like a simple variation of one of life's oldest stories is simmering underneath with a much deeper and more meaningful story. Both Norm Roth and Michelle Messmer are strong here, creating a realistic tension between the two that will keep you glued to the screen  as the situation unfolds.

It is only when the film itself has unfolded that you find yourself wanting to go back and watch it again, having become aware that every word and frame had significantly more meaning than you ever realized. Given the film's budgetary limits, tech credits are fine across the board.
    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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