Elisabeth Nunziato’s production of Maurice Robie’s “Stolen Moments”: notes and comments

Elisabeth Nunziato’s production of Maurice Robie’s  “Stolen Moments” has something every movie wants to achieve, but often doesn’t: authenticity and a natural in-the-moment feel.

There is something about this film I can’t quite express in words, except to say it has an “aura” — the city-scapes are mundane and beautiful at the same time.  The characters are common but extraordinary.  The story is familiar but really draws one in. And I think that’s the key to a great movie: the mundane is rendered into the sublime.

The acting is so natural and real that it’s fun to watch. No nonsense, in character, on time and in the moment.

I wish I had seen it on a bigger screen.  (ah well — 42 inch plasma just isn’t good enough anymore!)

So I’m a bit biased in my comments here, because I live in the vicinity where this movie was made.  And it was fun seeing people I know playing characters in the movie.  But I’ll take my chances.

The story is about a young man (Anthony D’Juan as “Eric”) with something of a dead end life; he has a job he doesn’t like, works for a man (“Clayton” played by Dave Pierini)  he knows isn’t trustworthy, he’s taking people’s money under false pretenses — people who really don’t have any money to spare.  His coworkers are harmless enough, but the emotional impact of their idiosyncrasies and self-absorbed clumsiness is making him crazy.  In other words he’s leading a petty existence, nickel and diming his way through his day, surrounded by mediocrity, and damning himself in the process.  Pathetic. But he has a light inside that starts to shine when he lands a job in an adult-education school.

The light gets brighter when he meets a really daring, outgoing free spirit named “Elisabeth” (Brittni Barger.)  He has a love affair with her, but the wind changes direction and the fire goes out, he meets “Erin” (Danielle Moné Truitt) and finds some compassion, and some honesty, but less fire. But the wind changes direction and the fire is back. And he makes a choice.

The style of movie-making is what one might call a collection of moments, viewpoints, and interactions, bound together by the common characters and their actions.  That can work, or fail.  I think for this film it works.

Stolen Moments” is now available on Amazon.





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