Chocolate Oyster – Film review

Mumblecore if you haven’t heard of it, is a form of improvisation and naturalistic acting. It’s a genre of filmmaking that stakes its beginnings from New French Wave back in the late 1960s. What today’s film audience will note from Chocolate Oyster is a refreshing take on filmmaking, so real to feel almost voyeuristic. Director Steve Jaggi has pulled off engrossing viewing.

Chocolate Oyster follows 20-somethings Ellie (Anna Lawrence) and Taylor (Rosie Lourde), who live in Bondi, Sydney, apartments they can’t really afford, pursue their dreams in a world that seems intent on thwarting them. Taylor chases a dance career by day and works as a waitress at night, while begrudgingly supporting boyfriend Henry (Ryan Harrison), an aspiring playwright. In a similar scenario, Ellie ends one dependent relationship and starts another with chef, Craig (Aaron Glenane), who dreams of creating a signature dish that will make his name.

Shot in black and white and in long one-take scenes, the exceptional cast portray their characters’ at their most vulnerable with honesty and empathy.

Director Jaggi explains, “… the filmmaking process is truly collaborative: director and actor workshop and develop the character and backstory, the I place the actor in a scenario which they adapt and interpret in their own way.”

From the opening scene – almost a 15 min one-shot take – the viewer assumes the role of eavesdropper on a break-up so real, it would make a slew of reality dating shows hang their heads in embarrassment.

Jaggi along with key cast and crew are appearing at special Q&A events in each state. Upcoming sessions are in Queensland and Western Australia. See the website for full screening details.

Majestic Nambour
Friday 22 March : 7pm

Newfarm 6
Saturday 23 March : 4pm
Dendy Coorparoo
Sunday 24 March : 4pm

Luna Leederville
Wednesday 3 April : 6.30pm

3.5 stars

About Chocolate Oyster film

Written and Directed by: Steve Jaggi
Stars: Anna Lawrence, Rosie Lourde, Aaron Glenane, Ryan Harrison
@chocolateoyst | @chocolateoyster

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