The Talk, from director Joe Otting, is a two-person short depicting a conversation between a father and his young daughter. This conversation begins with an innocent confession, one that every child needs to hear at some point in their life, but then it takes a nosedive into a frank, awkward realm.
The short features performances from John Hoogenakker and Isabella Crovetti-Cramp, who is most recognizable from her appearance in last year’s Joy. Both do what they need to do to make the comedy of the short work. Crovetti-Cramp’s facial expressions are particularly effective.
The editing, too, is effective. The cuts add life to the middle of the short and ramp up the pacing efficiently.
Where The Talk struggles most is conceit. The film is more of a comedy sketch than anything else. This is not to discredit the comedy, which works in spite of its overuse of the now-cliched bad marriage routine. But the best part of the short is the turn, which comes late into the film. Once we make it there, the comedy heightens to an exceptional dark effect. It just comes too late and lasts too long itself.
In this way, the film would have likely worked better as a straight sketch. Pared down to a tight three minutes, its increasingly dark tone might have exceeded being more than a mere oddity.
As always, thanks for reading!
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)