When the list of 2014 BAFTA Nominations came out, after my glee that Birdman looked like it was going to get the acclaim it deserved, I started working my way through the list of short films. I hadn’t seen any of them, nor was I able to, due to the lock-in ‘feature’ of film festivals. But I had heard of Emotional Fusebox, partly because I think Jodie Whittaker is an excellent actress, with excellent turns in Broadchurch, Black Mirror and Attack the Block. So, I contacted the writer/director of Emotional Fusebox Rachel Tunnard, and she very kindly gave me a link to view it.
Emotional Fusebox, while a self-contained 14 minute short, is actually a pilot for the feature film Adult Life Skills, currently in post-production. Jodie Whittaker plays Anna, a young woman who lives as a nigh-hermit in her Mum’s garden shed making videos with her thumbs. Her Mum wants her to come out, interact with the world and meet a man, but Anna is more than reluctant. For reasons that become apparent in the third act, Anna prefers to hide from the real world, and instead immerse herself in the fantasy of thumb theatre videos.
I loved Emotional Fusebox, it was incredibly well shot and Jodie Whittaker was excellent as I had no doubt she would be. But what especially impressed me was how natural the dialogue came over; there was no hint of overbearingly filmic dialogue or characterisation and so everything came across as refreshingly real. It added to the charm of Anna, her mum, her best friend and the story as a whole.
Check out the trailer above and, when you can, see Emotional Fusebox. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the full Adult Life Skills later this year.