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The Independent Critic

Written & Directed by
Antonio Padovan
Starring
Timothy J. Cox, Jeff Moffitt, Kirsty Meares, Ben Prayz, Alex Vincent
Running Time
15 Mins.

 "Socks and Cakes" Review 
This low-budget indie dramedy short written and directed by Antonio Padovan is a flashback to films such as The Big Chill, Grand Canyon and any number of character-driven Woody Allen flicks. The film is centered around a group of adults, it's difficult to call them actual friends, who gather at a dinner party where the wine will flow and, eventually, so too will the difficult to face truths about love, friendship, sex and relationships.

At a mere 15 minutes, the dreadfully titled Socks & Cakes actually does feel too slight, a character-driven film where the characters really aren't given much room to breathe and we're encouraged to buy into their dramatic stories before we've actually come to care about them. That said, much of the film works due to the strength of its ensemble cast and Padovan's natural dialogue.

While the film is an ensemble piece, much attention is paid to Harry (Timothy J. Cox), an ego-driven literature professor who seems largely unable to grasp much of anything involving the people, places and things around him including why his ex-wife, Amanda (Kirsty Meares), has taken up with Richard (Jeff Moffitt). The trio is joined by David (Ben Prayz), a talkative real estate broker, and his latest love interest, Sophie (Alex Vincent).

As is true for pretty much every Woody Allen film ever made, secrets are revealed and love interests change course during the film's 15-minute run time. While Padovan packs a lot into the film's 15 minutes, the film itself is well paced with only Amanda's not so big "big reveal" feeling a tad rushed amongst the goings on.  We quickly observe that Richard has eyes for Sophie, while Harry still has a thing for Amanda and, well, you get the distinct idea in the film's short course that this bittersweet dinner parties won't be going on much longer as everyone's life is in for a bit of a shake up.

D.P. Alessandro Penazzi lenses the film beautifully, lending the film a sort of pristine imagery that fits nicely the illusion this group of friends continues to try to maintain. Timothy J. Cox, in particular, excels as the rather snooty yet sincere professor who still longs for his wife. Jeff Moffitt and Alex Vincent also stand out with Vincent, in particular, displaying a nice blend of the film's dramatic touches within moments of light comedy.
    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
    • B: 3 Stars                         
    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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