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The Independent Critic

Paige Hoover, Timothy J. Cox, Joy Kapp, Ira Cross, Patrick Johnston
Maya Ahmed
Thomas Angeletti, Timothy J. Cox, Paige Hoover
12 Mins.

 Movie Review: Hard Truths 
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It has been a couple of years since I joined Letterboxd. I was a longtime holdout, mostly resisting yet another place where I would read, write, and review. However, once I joined I kind of fell in love with the site as it gave me a place to really track everything I've watched and to really look at my overall moviegoing history. 

In the early days, I mostly transferred my existing reviews to Letterboxd. In the feature that lets you know exactly which actors and directors are among your most common, Timothy J. Cox was an early frequent flyer due to his years-long regular submissions to The Independent Critic. For years now, Cox has been a true indie workhorse in a wide variety of projects. While he's still quite the presence on-screen, he's increasingly showing up in writing, directing, and producing roles. 

The 12-minute short film Hard Truths finds Cox co-starring, producing, and co-writing this engaging film that follows a popular modeling industry agent (Cox) who arrives at a photo shoot to share with one of his most successful models, Hope (Paige Hoover), news about a desired gig. 

The news, we quickly learn, is not good. 

Hard Truths is a compelling film that exists in the world of, you guessed it, hard truths and dreams that don't come true for reasons that are sometimes unfair, biased, and even discriminatory. In this case, Cox's Peter Gibney has been trying without success to book Hope with a major clothing client, Braden-Willoughby, but they have confided that they refuse to consider her unless she undergoes "dramatic changes." 

This is a small but strong ensemble cast. These folks are working together increasingly frequently and it definitely shows in selling the finer nuances of this story. Cox is strong as usual, both stretching himself a bit and yet also delivering the kind of character we've come to expect from him. He's likable here, however, that likability can work against him a bit as he's delivering a not so likable message. Hoover is also a gem as Hope, both tremendously strong and vulnerable and gifted with a strong team that surrounds her including husband Danny (Patrick Johnston) and Ira Cross's Lem. 

Lensing by Thomas Angeletti is strong as always, as well, capturing both a sense of the glamour and the always lingering vulnerability that it could easily go away. The film is directed by Maya Ahmed with a sure, insightful hand devoid of exploitation. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic