Skip to main content
The Independent Critic

Tory Berner, Steven Conroy, Caitlin Berger, Timothy J. Cox
Sean Meehan
18 Mins.

 Sean Meehan's "Total Performance" Features a total performance from Berner 

Writer/director Sean Meehan's latest short film, the 18-minute Total Performance, is the kind of short film that could have easily been played for either drama or laughs. Instead, Meehan finds both elements in the film's humorous yet emotionally honest story about Cori (Tory Berner), an actress whose main gig is working for a company that provides "actors" to help people in a wide variety of situations figure out how to work through difficult conversations. When one particular job is working for someone with a personal connection, Cori is thrust into a fairly epic performance.

Meehan, who has been reviewed before here at The Independent Critic, is clearly getting better with each subsequent film. Of course, it may very well help to have a gifted actress like Berner, who embodies Cori with just the right doses of humor and heart to make you both believe in and enjoy her journey. While I could easily see Total Performance as an all-out comedy, there's something that feels even more satisfying as we watch the look on Berner's face after each subsequent job and especially in the film's closing scenes.

Total Performance is really an actors' film, though it possesses for the most part an intelligent if sparse story arc it gives the actors room to go where they want with their characters without disrupting the proceedings. While I didn't quite buy into the chemistry between Berner and Tim (Steven Conroy), such a fact actually worked fairly well as the story unfolded.

The film has fine production values including Chris Loughran's lensing and the original music by Cesar Suarez. For more information on the film, check out its Facebook page linked to in the credits.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic