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The Independent Critic

Brendan Egan, Chloe Lang, Henry Lynch, Mathew Ray
Charlie Norton
22 Mins.

 Movie Review: The Lost Weekend 
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Writer/director Charlie Norton's undergrad thesis capstone at Hofstra University was entirely shot on Cape Cod, MA and features a terrific ensemble cast telling an insightful, thought-provoking story that defies easy stereotypes and leaves you wanting more. The film, The Lost Weekend, received Best Picture at the 26th Hofstra Student Film Festival and was a semi-finalist selection at the recent Oscar qualifying Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival. 

The Lost Weekend is, at its essence, about James (Brenden Egan), a religious and socially awkward young man who is, like friends Nick (Henry Lynch) and Dylan (Mathew Ray), on the verge of starting college in the fall and flirting with those transitional life markers that we all confront along the way. This final trip is designed for James to lose his virginity, an act that is both important for James yet also sacred. It is not one that he takes lightly. 

At just under 22 minutes, The Lost Weekend confronts toxic expectations about what it means to be a man. Yet, I must confess that it does so in ways that I didn't expect. Characters behave differently than their easy stereotypes, perhaps more honestly human, and it adds layers of depth and honesty to James's ultimate necessity of making a choice that will impact his future. You get the sense that The Lost Weekend is fueled by Norton's deeply personal storytelling and insights. Norton himself has acknowledged his own experiences with not quite feeling ready for college, yet also feeling like his own "lost weekend" has influenced his manhood without defining it. 

One, in essence, feels hopeful for the characters within The Lost Weekend. 

Egan gives a wonderful, layered performance as James that really doesn't hit a false note. It's easy to expect Lynch's Nick to play one way as the more confident of the trio of the friends, though Lynch does a nice job of finding space for Nick to breathe and be a full-on human being. Chloe Lang also impresses as a young woman, Caroline, who may be interested in James. 

The Lost Weekend's beach house setting feels absolutely perfect and Michael Henaghan's lensing is filled with the swirl of emotions one would expect from Norton's storytelling. Nathaniel Wolkstein's original music complements that storytelling quite nicely. 

The Lost Weekend works quite ably as a short film, though one can easily imagine spending even more time with these characters. Regardless, I look forward to spending years to come with the creative voice of Charlie Norton.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic