Un ciel bleu presque parfait (A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky) (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

Following an accident, a brother takes care of his paraplegic sister while preparing for the arrival of other beings.

This film by artist Quarxx is one of those that must be seen. The story is well-developed and done in just about the perfect way. The way the story approaches multiple issues including gun violence, disability, the burden of taking care of a loved one, and others is tactful and done with care. The script approaches these issues in respectful ways while also given them the room to be properly shown and have their effects be clear. The writing and directing brings these to the forefront while still letting the film be about the people and how these things affect them.

The cast here is what makes the film truly stellar. In the part of the brother is Jean-Luc Couchard who gives one of those performances that feel a bit awkward yet perfect. His take on the deeply troubled Simon makes the film along with Melanie Gaydos’ take on his sister Estelle. The two of them give performances that are nothing short of perfect. Couchard does get the meatier part which he takes and makes it his own and imbues it with a troubled humanity that is exactly what the part and the film needed. Gaydos takes her part and makes it a subtle take on a hard situation. Her acting is nuanced and wordless, yet it leaves the biggest impact. These two performances are the heart and soul of the film and make it that much more impactful.

Supporting the acting, writing, and directing are the effects, by David Scherer for the practical effects and Thomas Ravaud for the visual effects, that create that extra something needed for the film to be truly impactful. The scene that is the lynchpin for the entire story has a bit of special effects and the effects are absolutely needed. In that specific scene, they are not perfect, but the way things are shot give the scene a lot of impact. The rest of the effects including the being that shows up a few times are stellar. Working with the effects to give perfect looking scenes are the cinematography by Antoine Carpentier and the editing. These work hand in hand to give the viewer beautiful scenes and a perfect flow to the story that help create the feeling that everything is just right with the short.

Un ciel bleu presque parfait is one of those short films that make you wish for more. Thankfully, the filmmaker is working on a feature version of it and given his talent, it should be fantastic. The short in and of itself is amazing and should be seen preferably on a big screen to get the full effect of the scenes and attention to detail put into everything.