Stutterer – A short film by Benjamin Cleary
A man’s lush inner thoughts are rendered mute by a crippling stutter, leaving him feeling isolated from the world despite a flourishing online relationship.
Ah the Oscars. Usually so predictable that the only excitement is seeing who wore what. And trying to care. But not this year. No Siree. Ireland was already a hot mess at having a record 9 nominations, with Saoirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender and Lenny Abrahamson being tipped as our best shot at bringing home a golden statue (which was designed by Irish man Cedric Gibbons I might add, but who really cares if he’s not wearing a pretty dress, right?) It was all about Brooklyn and Room – movies that were both based on bestselling novels. Just sayin’.
Anyhoo, quietly in the corner was the nomination everyone kind of glossed over. Nominated in the category for Best Short Film was an absolute gem of a short, Stutterer, whose story-line quite literally broke my heart and put it back together again. I’d be happier for Mr. Cleary if I wasn’t so angry at myself for not having written it first! It’s simple, honest and beautiful. As are the performances (Matthew Needham and Chloe Pirrie) and the soundtrack (Nico Casal). I absolutely loved every one of the 12 minutes and being the dark horse among the Oscar thoroughbreds makes their victory all the sweeter.
Stutterer was shot in London over a number of months with a budget of only €5,000 that Cleary and his crew raised themselves. Benjamin Cleary, who wrote, directed and edited the film, accepted the award with producers Serena Armitage and Shan Christopher Ogilvie, and director of photography Michael Paleodimos. It just goes to show that us Indie writers can produce something equally as powerful, if not more so, than the big studios or publishing houses. But it has to be bloody brilliant!
You can watch Stutterer for a limited time on the RTE Player, but if that’s not available in your area, check out their website and just please find a way to watch this film. It’s a beautiful story, told in such an eloquent way and will leave you, not only touched by a fellow man’s suffering, but by life’s exquisitely unique way of allowing all of us to belong.
***Update: You can now buy Stutterer on iTunes. Hurray!