One Love (Canada, 2009, D.J. Matrundola)
Beautifully shot and uniformly well-acted, One Love is a short film that manages what many full length features cannot: It is a probing, provocative and intelligent treatment of a (quite literally) motherhood issue. Given that One Love tells the tales of four different couples in distinctly different situations as all prepare for the birth of a child, it is indeed one very neat feat of filmmaking that director Daniel-James Matrundola successfully weaves together each story in fifteen short minutes. One couple arrives at the hospital to pick up their adoptive child, another jokes while the father records the birth on video, a third is in the hospital to have the husband's broken nose attended to, while the fourth (and most fascinating) are a pair who meet (and bicker) in the bar when the drunken mother's water breaks.
It is indeed a testament to the film's effectiveness that I was left wanting to know more about each of the characters, as the film's length necessitates that what we will receive is little more than an extended introduction (perhaps if the film is well-received, the filmmakers may choose to use this short as a springboard into a more detailed exploration of these characters.)
Evocative and open-ended, One Love compellingly captures the conflicting and heartrending emotions of this most elemental of mammalian activities. And while some may argue that the stories' lack of resolution is a problem, I would contend that it is another of the film's many strengths, as the uncertainty and ambiguity invites the audience into these situations in a way that more pat endings would not.
One Love is a tiny gem of a film.