Movie Short Review: ‘Sylvia’

Review by David Ferguson

Greetings again from the darkness. Sure, we like to “name” our cars. And yes, we have memories of our first car – some fond, some a bit less so. But deep emotional attachments to a car are somewhat rare. After all, it’s just hunks of metal, rubber, and plastic all assembled into a form of transportation … a vehicle to get us from one place to the next, and hopefully back home again.

We join in what looks to be a typical family road trip. Mother, grandmother and two young girls are buckled in as the miles roll on. Mom scolds the kids for making a mess, and the grandmother eases tension by passing out candy. A roadside stop for ice cream is always a popular idea. What we learn is that the mother is having financial difficulties and the purpose of the trip is to sell the car she has named “Sylvia”, after the classic song from Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show.

Richard Prendergast’s first film is ‘based on a true story’, and it is absolutely brilliant in its presentation – both visually and emotionally. Jolie Lennon, known best for her stunt work, is terrific as Mandy, the mom who must sell the car. It’s clear that she is carrying a weight on the trip, and the stunning third act brings it all into focus. This is an extraordinary short film, and it’s one I would have gladly paid 40 cents more for the next 3 minutes.

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