Thursday, April 30, 2020

SXSW 2020 Review: DADDIO

Daddio is a comedy based on real death events. A year after the passing of their beloved wife and mother, a dad and daughter grapple with life after loss. Daddio is a love story between a father and daughter after the unimaginable has happened.

Directed by: Casey Wilson

Written by: Laura Kindred, Casey Wilson

Starring: Casey Wilson, Michael McKean, Adam Pally, June Diane Raphael

Daddio showcases two sides of grief that we rarely see in film. Paul, played by Michael McKean, is manic and seemingly acting very flippant about what happened to his wife, while Abby, played by writer and director Casey Wilson, is obviously depressed, but it’s not your typical representation of depression, something that takes many different forms. She’s living like a homeless person who has a home, keeping her clothes in a shopping cart and sleeping in a closet. She acts like everything is alright, when in reality it's not.

The crux of this film is a funny, yet awkward scene where Paul and Abby are visiting with Abby’s friends Andrew and Lilly, played by the very talented Adam Pally and June Diane Raphael, and looking at stacks of photos that Paul just had developed. This scene went in a direction I was not expecting and is one of the reasons I love this short film, as they weren't afraid to go there. The emotional performances by Wilson and McKean are stellar, and the subtle comedic timing from Pally and Raphael are simply brilliant.

The only real shortcoming for this film is the runtime. This feels almost like a proof-of-concept for a feature, rather than a self-sustaining short film. Now, if this IS meant as a PoC, then great, job well done, because I absolutely want to see a full feature done for this, but if not, then the film is definitely lacking at the end. Maybe if it was a solid 30 minutes we could have gotten a bit more out of the relationship between these two and how they help one another cope with their grief together. But as for what we got, it just felt like something was missing.

This story, which Wilson states at the top of the film, is what actually happened between her and her father after her mother passed away, and I truly believe it would make for a fantastic feature film. And please keep this entire cast, they were perfect and I need to see more of them all.

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