Kevin Breznahan, Donald Paul, Bret Lada, Cillian O'Sullivan, Gerard McNamee, John Keating, Shaun Kennedy, Victoria Meade, Josh Salt, Marcia Haufrecht, Julia Nightingale, Julie Reifers, Gerardo Rodriguez, Hannah Jane McMurray
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
James (Cillian O'Sullivan) and Eoin (Shaun Kennedy) are two Irish blokes in dire straits when they get a bit of a break from Timmy Thomas (John Keating), a gamblin' sort who asks the two to place a $10,000 bet on a racehorse; making the potentially fatal mistake to pocket the cash without making the better, the two face a major life crisis when the horse, I bet you can guess the name, comes in at 35-1 odds.
A low-budget indie effort from Irish-American writer/director Seanie Sugrue, Misty Button had its world premiere at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival where the film picked up the Best Narrative Feature (Central Coast) prize. The film also picked up the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Soho International Film Festival and is scheduled to arrive in New York City on July 21st for a 4pm screening at Varick Street's The Loft.
It's not surprising that Misty Button is proving to be a festival favorite given Sugrue's natural dialogue and keep 'em guessing suspense with just the right amount of cheeky humor tossed in for good measure. The film benefits greatly from tremendous performances by co-leads Cillian O'Sullivan and Shaun Kennedy, while John Keating takes what could have easily been a caricaturish turn and makes him a genuinely compelling, and more than a wee bit unnerving, human being.
Misty Button is plagued at times by the usual obstacles of low-budget cinema, most notably an occasionally tinny sound mix that barely serves as a distraction given the film's involving storyline and excellent pacing.
As Misty Button progresses, it's likely not surprising that the story broadens and new characters, let's just say those that a certain Timmy Thomas answers to, enter the picture and the stakes keep increasing. How it all unfolds is entertaining to watch and Michael Nie's lensing heightens the drama between characters. Ryan McCurdy's original music is also top notch throughout.
Among the supporting players, Victoria Meade is especially strong as Ruby along with solid turns by Kevin Breznahan and Bret Lada among others.
Misty Button is early in its festival journey and should have no trouble building a lengthy run followed by, one hopes, a digital or video release to get this fine motion picture out there beyond the inherent limits of the fest circuit. For now, Misty Button should continue seeing the awards come in and it'll be interesting to watch it grow from here on out.
For more information on Misty Button, visit the film's official website linked to in the credits.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic