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Sunday
Jan202019

AN EMOTIONAL FUSEBOX // A FILM REVIEW OF "ADULT LIFE SKILLS"

BY MATEO MORENO

(note: The majority of this review was first published on Sat April 23rd 2016 when it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival)

 

In 2016, I had the pleasure of seeing ADULT LIFE SKILLS at the Tribeca Film Festival. Since then, I eagerly awaited a US release, but to no avail. It was released in the UK that summer but never had a US distributor - until now. It will now get a limited theatrical release and then will be available to stream, with a Blu-Ray release set for March. Below you'll find my original review, which I still 100% stand behind.

 


Anna (Jodie Whittaker, fresh off of her first season as "The Doctor") is fast approaching 30. This is not a good thing. At least, not for Anna. She's stuck in a rut, unable to move forward at all. She lives in a shed outside her mother's house. What she does excel at is mastering the art of doing nothing. And making funny online videos, like a space expedition using only her thumbs with faces drawn on. Her mother and grandmother (Lorraine Ashbourne and Eileen Davies) don't quite know what to do with her but they both know that enough is enough. Truly young Anna needs an emotional push into some adultish-ness, to learn some ADULT LIFE SKILLS.

 

Based on her BAFTA-nominated short film Emotional Fusebox, Rachel Tunnard's sweet oddball film is by far the charmer of the fest. Anna has suffered some sort of loss, though at the beginning of the film we're not quite sure what it is. So she slogs on day to day making weird videos and refuses to actually grow up. Her life begins to get a bit of a jolt when a young boy from next door (Ozzy Myers) starts coming around after his own mother gets put in the hospital. Strangely drawn to her, he someone understands her and begins to look up to her. Anna's best mate Fiona, played by Rachael Deering, comes back into town to spend time with her, make her laugh, push her into happiness. But something continues to hold her back and it's something that her family, the little boy next door, her friend, nor her neighbor Brendan with a sweet crush on her (Brett Goldstein) can fix by themselves. They're going to need help. They're going to need Anna to come back.

 

 

ADULT LIFE SKILLS is a strange, odd, endearing, hilarious and heartfelt. It's the emotional fusebox that I needed on a Friday night and I hope you visit Anna's strange little shed yourself very soon. You'll be glad you did.

 

MATEO'S GRADE: A

DIRECTED BY Rachel Tunnard STARRING Jodie Whittaker, Lorraine Ashbourne, Brett Goldstein, Rachael Deering, Eileen Davies, Alice Lowe, Edward Hogg, Ozzy Myers. Now playing in select cinemas and available on demand.

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