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Swimming (2006)

Eight year old Jade and her quirky mother Pearl are staying one hot Summer in a hippy commune. When Pearl's manipulative, two timing boyfriend, Travis turns up Jade must make a choice, to ... See full summary »

Director:

Tamzin Haughton
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Cast

Credited cast:
Tuva Novotny ... Pearl
Gaia Young Gaia Young ... Jade
George Calil George Calil ... Travis
Natasha McDowell Natasha McDowell ... Saffron
Poppy France Poppy France ... Poppy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aliva Raphael Aliva Raphael ... Schoolgirl 1
Tilda Raphael Tilda Raphael ... Schoolgirl 2
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Storyline

Eight year old Jade and her quirky mother Pearl are staying one hot Summer in a hippy commune. When Pearl's manipulative, two timing boyfriend, Travis turns up Jade must make a choice, to leave the man she hates to drown or overcome her fears to save him. Written by Tamzin haughton

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Genres:

Short | Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 2006 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP50,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Starfield Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

Clunky and unnatural despite some nice touches
22 May 2008 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Jade is an eight year old girl living on a hippie commune with her free-spirited mother Pearl. She longs for a "normal life" in the future but also the present. Seeing cracks in their relationship, Pearl focuses on one failure (Jade never learnt to swim as her mother never paid for the schooling) to try and help her daughter be more normal. Things are marginally better as a result of this small act but the return of Pearl's boyfriend to the commune sees the strain back on Jade again.

I want readers to know up front that I recently finished watching season 4 of HBO's The Wire. I mention this because such is the brilliance of that show (and that season in particular) that one comes to expect other films/shows to be able to deliver so much as effortlessly as they do there. Sadly the truth is that this show is the exception rather than the rule and that this short film was unlucky enough to be watched soon after finishing the DVD set. What I'm getting to is the failure in this film to deliver the story and characters in a natural and convincing way. The crux of the film is Jade and a particular point in her relationship with her mother due to the intervention of her boyfriend. This did have the potential to be subtle and touching but on the contrary it is clunky and unnatural.

It doesn't help that as writer and director Haughton feels the need to spell it out in massive letters for us while also injecting supposedly "clever" meaning into it at the same time. Both of these fail. The majority of the delivery is written for children, with nothing in the characters that is not in their words. Meanwhile, what might have been subtle touches just stand out like church-bells clanging in the midst of all this. Her cast doesn't help her but then with her script I don't think it matters. Novotny is OK but Young is just too basic and doesn't manage to bring much realism to her lines. Of course next to the stiff tree-truck that is Calil, they both look like Oscar winners! Overall then this is a personal and perhaps interesting short film that is badly let down by all involved. As writer and direction Haughton carries the can for failure to put this scenario with characters that are real and convincing. This has not helped her cast, who in turn deliver the lines in a clunky and unnatural way. There is one maybe two nice shots delivered that suggests at least someone had an eye for this but otherwise it is clunky, unnatural and roundly poor.


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