Edward Palmer, director of the previously reviewed Hippopotamus, provided us his latest film, a short movie that’s a take on the exploration of guilt.
Nightingale is an ambitious short movie, electing to span three timelines in a short movie, and is, on the whole, successful in reaching those ambitions.
In near silence, we follow a couple through their lives. We see a very edited, shortened version of scenes: a wedding dress, preparing a baby room, “that’s my reading room”, “not anymore”, the baby crying, the sleep deprivation, the tragedy.
Stuart Mortimer, who was in Hippopotamus, and Sophie Hopkins (“Hunt By Paradise”, “Class (TV)”) are the couple. Hopkins is far more excited, about everything, than Mortimer who cuts a stern figure. He seems more upset about losing his space than marriage or parenthood.
As the tragedy unfolds the couple spiral downwards and, seemingly, apart. But as Palmer isn’t showing us things in a linear timeframe, it can be hard to know where we are in their story, maybe that’s the point.
You could cut this film up and re-order it in a plethora of ways and it would work. In that, it’s brilliant, but if that wasn’t the intention than…oh.
Palmer directs with aplomb, he shows a keen eye for the crisp and clean, whilst his two stars are the perfect adversaries for each other, whilst being on the same side.
Nightingale is a lovely looking short and is wonderfully acted.