Written and Directed by
Riley Rose (Critchlow), Kris Kjornes
"A Portrait of Envy" Review
Cementing her status as a promising young actress, Riley Rose shows up again in October's "Short Cuts" in "A Portrait of Envy," a 9-minute short film written and directed by Enrique Garcia. Rose portrays Gillian, a timid yet artistic young woman who believes she's finally won over Jerry (Kris Kjornes) when he asks her to paint a portrait for him. However, everything is not as she believes and "A Portrait of Envy" quickly evolves into a simple, yet disturbing psychological thriller.
While at first glance it would seem that "A Portrait of Envy" is vastly different from Rose's last film, "Archer House," her characters strike a remarkable similarity in the way they are outsiders almost transparently on the edge. Rose has the rare ability to remain still within her characters, and is able to use her entire physical being in both subtle and not so subtle ways. Currently working on her BFA at University of Southern California, Riley Rose is a talent to watch for in the next few years.
While "A Portrait of Envy" is largely centered upon Rose's character, Kris Kjornes offers a solid performances as Jerry, and Jennifer Popagain does nicely in her relatively brief appearance as Jerry's girlfriend.
Garcia's story is quite basic, and yet wonderfully enhanced by a complementary production design, Tahlee Booher's cinematography and a musical score that companions the film's disturbing feeling without overpowering it or manipulating it.