The Neighbor's Window

****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

The Neighbors' Window
"Savvy viewers may guess where this is all going, but Curry doesn't push the emotions or the pace despite showing a decent passage of time."

As anyone who lives in a town or city will tell you, it's hard for neighbours who don't draw their curtains not to catch your eye, especially after dark. That's exactly what happens to Alli (Maria Dizzia) and Jacob (Greg Keller), when they sit down at the end of a long day. Past the first rush of their relationship, with two young kids and a third on the way, their house seems to mostly comprise Lego bricks and crumbs, with the subtle tang of relationship friction, so it's no wonder the raunchy nocturnal activities of the young couple in the apartment block opposite draw their attention.

Alli and Jacob view proceedings as though they're watching a TV show, torn between the opposing feelings of delight and guilt of voyeurism. Weeks pass and life continues to frazzle, the baby arrives - and so does a pair of binoculars, that might not be being employed for the walking trips originally planned. Writer/director Marshall Curry knows a thing or two about the joys of watching as he cut his teeth in documentary work - and perhaps the added feel of veracity here comes from the fact his film was inspired by a true story told on a podcast (The Living Room) by screenwriter Diane Weipert in 2015. Here Curry smoothly shows how easy it is for the couple over the road to become a reminder of something Alli and Jacob fear they may have lost. Curry's documentary background helps with the quick immersion into Alli and Jacob's flat. He pays attention to details - the crumbs, the building blocks - swiftly creating a home that feels as though its door has been opening and closing to these two for years.

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Savvy viewers may guess where this is all going, but Curry doesn't push the emotions or the pace despite showing a decent passage of time. Dizzia - so often a supporting player in features - also makes the most of centre stage here, showing us Alli not just reacting to what is going on around her but processing things first. The pay off could seem overly neat in less capable hands but Curry and Dizzia ensure it feels poignant not pat.

Watch the film on Vimeo below

The Neighbors' Window - Oscar®-Nominated Live Action Short Film from Marshall Curry Productions on Vimeo.

Reviewed on: 16 Jan 2020
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A wife and husband become fascinated by the younger couple who live in the apartment across the street.

Director: Marshall Curry

Writer: Marshall Curry

Starring: Maria Dizzia, Greg Keller, Bret Lada, Lorelei Smith, Juliana Canfield, Maria Dizzia, Peter Farrell, McGregory Frederique, Greg Keller, Bret Lada, Lorelei Smith

Year: 2019

Runtime: 20 minutes

Country: US

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