Movie Review: 'Annie Waits' (2017)

Annie Waits (2017) - Eclectic Movie Review
April Kelley stars in “Annie Waits,” a short film that follows Annie (Kelley), a millennial trying to avoid a commitment to the traditional path she sees her friends walking down. “Annie Waits” opens with a baby shower its eponymous character is attending. Annie swears the lifestyle she is witnessing; marriage, and motherhood, will never be hers. Will she withstand its seemingly gravitational pull?

Several suitors come, and go trying to persuade her to give it a go with them, long-term, but Annie is dead-set on acting on her original verdict. Or is she?

As "Annie Waits" builds towards its conclusion, viewers are left wondering whether they will see Annie break her cycle of non-commitment, and if she does, why. The catalyst for how that last bit could happen is not fully explained. However, there is a telling line that might illuminate why the possibility exists.

As a short, "Annie Waits" plays well. The pacing, direction, and musical score, all help in telling a complete story, with an ending tease that should leave viewers thought-provokingly amused; which is an impressive feat in itself. It is this clever ending wrinkle, that leaves the audience on edge, and this viewer curious about what could become of it.

As Annie, April Kelley's narration breathes a nuanced life into the film. On a listening level, we stay in Annie's head throughout the film, and it is a pleasant place to be. The dialogue of other characters is used sparingly, though heard when necessary. It is a daring choice that pays off thanks to Kelley’s dazzling performance both on and off-screen.

Annie lives in her own world, and while she repeats her central mantra many times, Kelley always recites it in a way that keeps it fresh. This is a first-person narrative that is fully committed to its lead character, and Kelley proves she can more than handle the attention.

Marnie Paxton directs “Annie Waits” with a savvy style that confidently hits every note, bringing Chris Anastasi’s script into a vivacious existence. In all, “Annie Waits” tells a wry story that makes you care about how Annie moves forward. Rating: 7.5/10

[Featured Image by Mini Productions Limited]