The best local shorts manage to tap into the regional talented gems, people both on-screen and off who seem always on the verge of that breakthrough project that would take them from being that "Hey, I know you!" local dude or dudette to a household name. Misread, a 19-minute short film from Evansville, Indiana's Ryan McCurdy, has created such a film with this small yet quality ensemble cast that brings life to his uniquely scripted story about a guy, Jonathan (Kevin Arnold), who takes a job with a mysterious company driving around a woman who can read lips (terrific newcomer Alyssa Rhoads). With an equally mysterious and unpredictable boss (Rusty James), Jonathan soon realizes that this job may very well involve a lot more than he ever bargained for.
The film, which recently premiered at Evansville's MayDay Film Festival, is a film that could have so easily gone south like so many other indie low-budget flicks of a similar nature yet McCurdy's slowly revealing story and a terrific ensemble cast help elevate into an infinitely watchable and enjoyable film. Kevin Arnold's Jonathan is an intriguing and nicely developed character whose personality develops at a nice pace over the course of the film's 19 minutes. Alyssa Rhoads is mysterious yet emotionally in-tune, no small accomplishment, while Rusty James serves up a performance that presents as even-keeled yet feels constantly on the edge of something more. All three are far better than one usually expects from local, lo-budget indies.
Daniel Roach's original music is sublime; perfectly complementing the film's evolving action and adding an emotional layer to the film without dominating it. It's solid work that makes me want to check out more of his music.
Misread is already starting to line up additional fest appearances and should have no problem finding a home on the indie/underground circuit. If you get a chance, check it out.