It was back in August of last year that Cinematical blogged about Jennifer Aniston's directorial debut (with the help of Andrea Buchanan)*. The project was started as part of Glamour magazine's Reel Moments series, where readers submit true stories "by and about women" that get turned into short films by notable females. The story she got, or picked (however it works), is a little ditty by Colleen Goldrick called Room 10, which stars two pretty great actors -- Robin Wright Penn and Kris Kristofferson. The short just screened at the Worldwide Short Film Festival here in Toronto, and I have to say -- it ain't all that bad.

The film is about a stressed and snarky nurse who hides in her work to avoid her marital problems at home. While taking on extra shifts at the hospital, Penn's character tries to preoccupy herself, while not strangling the over-eager and annoying nurse who challenges her last nerve. However, when she begins to look after a critically ill woman whose husband is staying with her through her final moments, the nurse's notions of love and marriage are challenged. Sure, it's a sappy sort of premise, and it might not have worked if it wasn't for the genuine and subtle performance of Kristofferson, but it is also helped by Aniston's eye. The camera lingers just enough to catch emotion from both its stars, without dwelling. Unfortunately, I wish I could say that about the whole of the film. The last moments lose some steam in melodrama and sappiness. But all in all, it was a decent short -- not the best of the bunch, but very far from the worst. Will this lead her to more work? I'm not so sure, but at least we can be assured that it wouldn't be a total train wreck.

*Edited to add Andrea Buchanan as co-director, thanks JF.
CATEGORIES Cinematical