DATELINE: Scrabble, Anyone?
It’s always a delight to find a new interesting movie, even if it is only 11 minutes long. Our pleasure is heightened when the stars are Nicholas Hoult and Imogen Poots. The short subject deserved more accolades, called Rule Number Three.
In case you are wondering, that rule in Scrabble means you cannot use proper names or nouns as your words.
Almost entirely without dialogue, the story concerns a young man and young woman playing Scrabble in a British pub.
Smug intelligent words give way to pointed sharp words in which a message of great importance is conveyed. The drama is in the exchange of glances between Hoult and Poots–which is downright delightful.
The actors have faces. We have to read the expressions.
Writer and producer James Cotton lets us see those faces light up and darken in the course of a short eleven minutes. This is another of those short movies that tell us that the short story form is a lost art. Most movies today clock in at 140 to 180 minutes, far longer than a bladder deserves.
The two principal actors do not speak, making body language the language of love and hate.
You can find this little gem on YouTube for free. You can watch it in one sitting. And you get to see Nicholas Hoult in all his youthful beauty. It is 2011.
You also get a sense that hold knows how to pick a good role even from his youngest days. This is a clever, sharp, commentary on human relations. And, it’s all within a Scrabble game.