You see it all the time in this home. Middle-aged children coming to meet my lot, their elderly parents. Less often, you see the kids in their thirties meeting their doomed-too-soon late middle-aged mums and dad. Poor souls, all.
Old Jack here wanders the gardens some weekends, well, hobbles them. They’re nice and there’s a wee copse down past the lake. That’s where they hide out, those families. The young take the old out for some privacy: a quiet, bucolic space to share the pain and judge how soon the end will come. Young Steve does it with me sometimes, brings his boys, brings his happiness. He’s lucky: Dad has still got his wits. Others… Well…
Less is more and Two Minutes captures that beautifully. A daughter played by Jodie Whittaker (who definitely smiles at least once in this) visits her Dad played by Larry Lamb. The Dad isn’t really there for much of the conversation, but he peaks out of the clouds to catch her news. Just for a while.
This short film is a lovely thing. It captures those chats down by the lake to perfection. The bemused elder; the desperately sad, dealing with it, keen for presence child. And the message that passes through those clouds is one of life’s simple, ordinary things…
I rather love this short. It doesn’t have time to labour its point, and gets in and out with a deft doff of its cap to those families who understand. They are known. They are heard. And this piece acknowledges that with clear, real performances.
Whittaker and Lamb work beautifully together. When he is the absent person, she fills in the relationship. When he is present, she flickers back to daughter and hopeful child. They’re one family, shifting balance moment by moment. Lamb captures those too-soon souls with proper, invisible skill.
The whole short is linked to below.
Take a look; then make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Help others not find themselves down by our lake.