The simple truth is that I'm sitting here a little tired. I'm a little stressed out, a fact partly owing to my own ongoing health issues and also due to the recent revelation that my younger brother has been diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer.
In case you're wondering, that's not a good thing.
So, I may have not been in the best mood to sit down and watch the indie dramatic short Jones, written by and starring Marzy Hart as a young woman who finally reaches the point of recognizing that her drinking has become a problem.
So, she decides to do something about it.
Or at least try.
The other simple truth is that I planned to start off with some sort of dark humor. You know? Something along the lines of calling Jones an "intoxicating" short.
You know? Something assholish like that.
But, deep down I'm actually not an asshole.
Okay, sometimes I am.
But, on this occasion my better judgment is getting the best of me and, if we're being completely honest, Jones is an incredibly sobering experience.
Oh, c'mon. Did you really think I wouldn't use some sort of dark humor?
Winner of the Best Drama Short at the Twister Alley Film Festival in Oklahoma, Jones is an aching, vulnerable and occasionally painful to watch short film that gives us just a sliver, a true sliver, of what it looks like and feels like when someone reaches that point out saying to themselves "Hey, I have a problem."
Inspired by Hart's own story, a revelation that made me awfully glad I opted to avoid being an asshole, Jones is in some ways exactly the kind of short you might expect for a short film dealing with addiction - You have the "one last bad experience," the obligatory 12-step meeting, the reflective "What do I do with my life now?" scene and, ultimately, you get a film that takes the familiar and makes it feel fresh thanks to Hart's intimate and intelligent performance.
Lensing by Isabella Tan and Dani Tenenbaum is equal parts emotional chaos and stark intimacy, while Keriann Correia's costuming is naturalistic and character driven. While Jones is occasionally impacted by its modest budget, Stacey Maltin's direction is relentlessly honest without resorting to unnecessary histrionics.
For those with addiction in their lives, myself included, Jones will feel familar and yet should for the most part not be remarkably triggering. By avoiding exploitation of the subject matter, Jones tells an honest, personal story and tells it incredibly well and with integrity intact. For more information on the film, visit its official website linked to in the credits.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic