The award-winning team behind the darkly-comic Mrs Lustleigh’s Fancies is back. Yes, the newest OddBodies film, The Nature of Angrove, premiered on Thursday, March 8 at Exeter’s Phoenix to an excited audience.
The short film concerns the titular Angrove Laxeter and his overbearing mother, Ashleen, who’s determined to see the 30-something married. Ashleen decides to speed up the process and hires the services of a local dating agency for her shy and unassuming son.
The prospective suitors all coming calling, but while Ashleen may find the young ladies charming, Angrove is clearly besotted with Cherry -the Laxeter’s maid. Anyway, the ‘dates’ are all disasters, with Ashleen chatting with the young ladies instead of Angrove, whose only contribution to the evenings are botched magic tricks. So, will Angrove and Cherry ever be united?
Having seen director Paul Morel’s previous film, Mrs Lustleigh’s Fancies, I was certainly prepared for a black comedy, but what struck me most about The Nature of Angrove was the vibrancy of the colours onscreen, with the art direction seeming to recall the work of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and almost certainly the Spanish auteur, Pedro AlmodÃ³var. The film’s conclusion, with its petals, is particularly impressive.
Tanya Scott-Wilson and Paul Morel both do a sterling job with their performances and while Alexander Warn did an admirable job as Angrove, I did feel that the character lacked a certain, necessary charm.
The Nature of Angrove proves once again that Devon is home to some fantastically gifted filmmakers and this critic will eagerly anticipate the next OddBodies production.
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