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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Michael Creagh
Starring
Oran Creagh, Rory Keenan, Olga Wehrly
Running Time
16:15

 "The Crush" Review 
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Have you ever watched a film and thought to yourself "Man, that was so close to perfection?"

Such was my experience watching Michael Creagh's 2011 Oscar nominee for Best Live Action Short The Crush, a rather harrowing 16-minute short centered around eight-year-old Ardal (Oran Creagh). Ardal harbors a rather serious crush on his teacher, Miss Purdy (Olga Wehrly), a crush so serious that he challenges Miss Purdy's boyfriend (Rory Keenan) to a duel with potential consequences beyond what anyone could quite imagine (except that you probably did, right?).

The Crush is a tremendous example of a short film that may very well beg to be just a wee bit longer, a film that doesn't take quite enough time to establish the relationship between teacher/student, doesn't really establish a solid character for Ardal and, ultimately, gets us to our action in what feels just a bit too quickly.

Now then, does it sound like I'm trashing the film?

I'm not.

Despite being one of the weaker entries in the 2011 Oscar race, The Crush is an involving and well-acted dramatic short featuring a stand-out performance from young Oran Creagh as the seemingly innocent boy enamored with his teacher. Olga Wehlry, as the teacher, nicely blends beauty and sweetness and, well, who wouldn't have a crush on her? Her boyfriend, played somewhat creepily by Rory Keenan, seems just a tad off from point one - somewhat giving a clue as to where this film is going.

This Irish short is nicely shot by Jim Creagh, while Ciara Brophy's editing builds the anticipation and heightens the suspense as the conflict between Ardal and his competition reaches a climax. Yet, unlike the other nominees this year, The Crush doesn't quite resonate emotionally and lacks that certain "wow" factor that should distinguish an Oscar-winning film. The Crush is a good film but, indeed, is destined to be crushed by the competition in this year's Oscar race.
    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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