I love the idea that gave rise to this short - allowing ordinary folks to provide a prompt, even as simple as a poster, for filmmakers to create from.
The real stars of 'In the time it takes to get there' are the crew: the costumers, make-up artists, and choreographers, and those who worked on the props and sets. Not for one moment do I mean to disparage anyone else involved, but these contributions in particular light up the screen and give the short life. The premise of the short, following a day in the life of an "influencer," is realized most of all through those details that present the intended glamour. The dresses all look fantastic, and moreover, the picture is impressively crisp and clean - almost too much so - ensuring that we can absorb every little detail.
The short centers Florence Pugh as the influencer who is very "over it." I have not had occasion to see a great many of Pugh's films, yet she's a clear talent, and she sells Lucille's mounting cynicism and dismissiveness very well. It's also a pleasure to see Alicia Silverstone here, giving her character of Eliza a great air of punctuality and order that's equally curt and caring.
It's a simple story being told here, but it's fun, casting a somewhat skeptical eye on the lives of influencers through the lens of another era. The impact of its implied commentary is dulled a bit from the very fact that the Hollywood production behind the short comes from a place of extraordinary, superficial living well beyond the means or scope of ordinary people - pot, meet kettle. And as earnestly as the film works to adapt a very 21st-century phenomenon into an 18th century setting, our suspension of disbelief is abruptly shaken by the very last two scenes that consciously break the illusion.
Still, 'In the time it takes to get there' is enjoyable. Its faults do not ultimately take away from the amusement shared by viewers in regards to the suggested (and very agreeable) disdain toward such an ostentatious, frivolous "industry." It's to the credit of Zach Braff, both writer and director here, to have created such a smart little feature from a poster so open to interpretation.
I, for one, would like to see more challenges like this to let filmmakers let their creativity flow, while giving regular people a hand in that process, too.
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