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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Luke Matheny
Luke Matheny, Christopher Hirsh, Marian Brock
Running Time
18 Mins.

 "God of Love" Review 
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Produced as writer/director/star Luke Matheny's thesis film for New York University's Graduate Film Program, God of Love has been on quite a tear through film festivals this past year, including both the Heartland Film Festival and Indianapolis International Film Festival and now as an Oscar nominee for Best Live Action Short Film.

As you may gather from my 4-star rating, my only 4-star rating among this year's Oscar nominated shorts, God of Love is this critic's pick to take home the golden statuette. God of Love is a stylish, dazzling and inspiring 18-minute short centered around Raymond (Matheny), a lounge singing darts champion who receives a package of love-inducing darts. Is this an answer to his prayers and a shot at fellow bandmate Kelly (Marian Brock), who actually harbors a crush on Raymond's best friend (Christopher Hirsh)?

God of Love is currently joining other Oscar-nominated shorts on a nationwide limited arthouse run, a special treat for many areas of the country not accustomed to seeing many of the Academy's artier and lesser known cinematic ventures. Indianapolis audiences are likely familiar with the film, a winner of Heartland's Crystal Heart Award and quite a few other festival honors throughout 2010. Shot using the RED camera system by D.P. Bobby Webster, God of Love is a film that exudes the charm, intelligence and romance of the French New Wave with a black-and-white look inspired by 1950's jazz photography and a jazz original score composed by award-winning musician Sasha Gordon featuring songs actually performed by Matheny.

The cast of God of Love is uniformly strong, with Matheny, Hirsh and Brock displaying a comfortable, breezy chemistry that sweeps the viewer along unlike the vast majority of films released in Hollywood this year. If you can't catch the film in theatres, by all means support this indie filmmaker on the rise by checking out his website and ordering the DVD of God of Love.