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The Independent Critic

David Mazouz, Lily Chee, Eli D. Goss
Wesley Wang
13 Mins.

 Movie Review: Nothing, Except Everything 
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It was unsurpising when writer/director Wesley Wang's short film nothing, except everything. pickedup the Summer White Lynch Memorial Award during the 2023 Indy Shorts International Film Festival during the Academy Award-qualifying Indianapolis-based film festival earlier this year. Already familiar to Indy audiences, Wang's beautifully shot and thoughtful short film was a natural for Indy Shorts audiences and the film's success continues with slots at LA Shorts and Rhode Island's recent Flickers. 

In the film, David Mazouz (Gotham) stars as Miles, a high school senior wrestling with the chaos of college applicattions, fleeting relationships, and a growing sense of nihilism. Seeking to find some sense of order within the chaos, a fixation with the number seven develops. The story that follows is one that feels both universal yet also remarkably personal. Indeed, the film was shot largely during the now Harvard-studying Wang's senior year in high school. At times bringing to mind the under-appreciated The Spectacular Now, this is a visually arresting film that captivates from beginning to end while also demanding one's full-on attention for its just shy of 13-minute running time. 

Mazouz dazzles throughout as does Lily Chee as the supportive yet somewhat edgy Harper. Together, they are sublime. 

Original music by Tim Fain complements the narrative quite nicely and Stefan Nachmann's lensing for the film far transcends what we'd expect from a film that falls within the realm of high school filmmaking yet is clearly shot by someone who's already been behind the camera a time or two and is destined for much greater things. 

Nothing, except everything. becomes ever so slightly hindered by its ambitious narrative that feels as if it desperately wants to be drawn out into more patient storytelling. However, there's little denying that this is an incredibly special short film that we should keep hearing about through the 2023 awards season. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic