Two sensationally moving performances help ground this beautifully told drama. Vollrath is a name to remember.
Patrick Vollrath’s Cannes-winning short managed to sweep up a whole bunch of varied awards throughout 2015, and understandably so. Told almost entirely through the eyes of a young girl, Vollrath shows incredible dramatic promise in this dark and highly emotional tale of one man’s desperation.
Recent divorcee Michael (Simon Schwarz) picks up his young daughter Lea (Julia Pointner) for a weekend away from her mother. At first, everything appears normal, but gradually as the day progresses and Michael’s actions become more and more peculiar, Lea begins to suspect that something isn’t quite right.
To say anymore would be to infringe on potential spoiler territory, and Vollrath’s film really works best if you go in blind. The mastery on show here is all in the gentle unfolding of the film’s events; how something that at first seems so routine can spiral out of control incredibly quickly. It’s a simple sequence, but one that packs a seriously intense emotional punch and is milked beautifully by Vollrath throughout.
A huge debt is owed to the cast for this however, in particular the young Pointner who shows off some serious dramatic prowess despite her age and experience level. Her Lea is very much the audience conduit throughout, not an easy mantle to carry for any actor, but here Pointner simply takes it in her stride wonderfully, playing out the role in the most natural manner possible. Schwartz’s jealous dad Michael is almost just as much a revelation – his more showy performance deserving of equal amounts of praise – but there’s something about the two together that comes across as exceedingly genuine and really grounds the film beautifully.
Vollrath’s awards-hungry short is a triumph of deep-seated and slow-reveal drama, exquisitely executed with both a sense of sentimentality and a subtle injection of clever storytelling. This is a name to look out for, clearly.
Everything Will Be Okay / Alles Wird Gut (2015), is directed by Patrick Vollrath.