There is something awkward and kinda great about Michael Osborne and Rebecca Holopter's not so strangely invigorating short film Silverlake Afternoon, a nearly 11-minute short that lasts longer than my most recent relationship and is a whole lot more meaningful.
The film stars Osborne as Michael, a 33-year-old who has never been with a guy. His first encounter, with Casey (Dakota Greene), is definitely going to be a little awkward.
It's also going to be kinda great.
There's something completely and utterly charming about Silverlake Afternoon, a film that may also be gifted with the absolute coolest title ever. The film is also gifted with Osborne's performance, with weaves together hints of sincerity, awkward curiosity, and a tiny smidgen of quirk to create a guy who may very well be one of the most likable, absolutely appealing guys you'd ever want to meet even though we're preparing to watch his intro into the gay life courtesy of what could very well be an ill-advised, probably inappropriate Grindr midday hookup.
If you've never heard of Grindr, then Tinder for gay and bisexual men.
Taking what could be an awkward set-up, Osborne brings it charmingly to life in this film that he wrote and also co-directed with Rebecca Holopter. The film carries hints of Wes Anderson stylings and Osborne bears more than a passing resemblance to the uniquely inspired filmmaker along with a little bit of Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman. I can't lie. It endeared me to the film even more.
In addition to Osborne's top notch performance, Dakota Greene is quite the joy as a guy who may very well be the perfect midday hookup, a charismatic slacker with a gleam in his eye and an abundance of twinkle in his spirit.
Aaron Proctor's lensing is energized, inspired and just downright fun, while kudos must also be given for Samantha Szigeti's production design and set decoration. Silverlake Afternoon also has an absolutely delightful original score, a score that complements the dialogue sublimely, and even costuming that rather leaves you smiling.
Silverlake Afternoon has already picked up a couple prizes early in its festival journey - an Award of Merit from the Best Shorts Competition and the prize for Best LGBTQ Film at the LA Film Awards.
If you get a chance, and I'm guessing you will, you'll definitely want to check out this absolute winner while it's out on the film festival circuit. You'll definitely leave with a smile on your face.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic