Up-and-comer Fred Hechinger co-stars in this amusing short film from ‘The Office’ and ‘Silicon Valley’ star.
In addition to Sundance movies like CODA, Pleasure and Violation, one of the best things I’ve seen this past week is Zach Woods‘ excellent short film David, which stars Will Ferrell, William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) and up-and-comer Fred Hechinger (News of the World). And now you can watch the 12-minute film in its entirety below!
Harper plays a severely depressed man in crisis who reaches out to his therapist (Ferrell) for an emergency session, only to find that he’s not the only one who needs help. To say any more would spoil some of the surprises, but suffice to say, I loved this short film, which has both heart and humor in spades.
There’s a reason David was the only short film from the U.S. to compete for the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival before making its way to TIFF and Telluride, and that’s because it packs a surprisingly powerful punch in just under 12 short minutes.
“I wanted to make a movie about people who are funny and sad and trying their best — which, in my limited experience, is most people,” Woods said in a statement.
Though David is expertly made, the direction takes a backseat to the writing, which strikes a careful balance of comedy and drama. The script also addresses the demands between work and family, which millions of people have grappled with this past year after being forced to work from home during the pandemic. Though the short deals with some serious issues, including suicide, it boasts a hilarious and heartwarming ending that will leave a smile on your face.
Woods co-wrote David with Brandon Gardner, and he also produced the short with Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri from Freestyle Picture Company (The Florida Project) and Jett Steiger and Lana Kim from Ways & Means (Super Dark Times), as well as Andrew Porter.
Woods is best known for playing Gabe on The Office and Jared on Silicon Valley, and he currently stars in Armando Iannucci’s HBO series Avenue 5, which has been renewed for a second season. The actor recently starred opposite Ferrell in the movie Downhill, and his other feature credits include Steven Spielberg‘s The Post, Paul Feig‘s The Heat and Spy, and Iannucci’s In the Loop.
Watch David in its entirety below courtesy of Omeleto, where you can also find an insightful analysis of this highly rewatchable short film — which is also eligible to compete for an Oscar nomination this year. And after you watch David, be sure to check out my list of Ferrell’s 10 best movies.
Stephen Daldry exited the project in October, while Chu recently pulled out of the ‘Willow’ series on Disney Plus.
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