+ Recommended – NR, Drama, Short (19 minutes)
This year, we have reviewed many shorts. Most of which have been delightful to view and reflect upon. Beauty Queen is no different, and in fact, certain moments deliver some of the most sleek, technical camera work of the shorts I’ve reviewed. It’s good to be back! Let us dive right in.
In terms of the specific style of narrative storytelling, it’s nothing new. Christina (Christina Goursky) desires pure beauty. She makes an attempt at modeling but it doesn’t turn out well. Although her modeling career didn’t work out, she refuses to give up. After hiring a photographer (James Jelkin) to make her look pretty, she realizes that her quest for beauty may not have necessary at all.
Each character on the surface is instantly likable, including the supporting cast. That is, of course, unless they are portraying clear antagonists (which some are). But the problem persists when the support casts’ performances are, overall, more memorable than our main protagonist. It feels as if she has nothing to do in this role because the others around her are basically shaping the way in which she proceeds with her actions. Rest assured the performances are solid, and aside from a few blocking decisions, Beauty Queen capitalizes on the quality of the actors, both in verbal and nonverbal situations.
Frankly, the only glaring issue with this film is the quality of audio. Most of which shifts and fluctuates throughout the entire piece. Unless your computer is turned up to 100, you won’t catch everything and even then it can still be difficult. At times, the external noises can drown out the beautifully scripted dialogue and it’s frustrating to try and catch every sentence while also processing the words of the characters. What the film lacks in audio it makes up for in stylish photography by Marcus Johnson.
Interweaving intimate shaky-cam with a more principled style approach works the majority of the time. However, it can be quite jarring when taking into consideration that the majority of the movie is pretty light on the dialogue aspect. However, if you’re looking for an indie film to sit down and quickly ingest, then I suggest checking out Beauty Queen, from director Nicholas Goodwin.
You can find the film on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/QSWmOLm1hno.