The 28th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival returns to South Florida starting this weekend and goes all the way to November 11. You can be sure there will be plenty of different movies to check out during that time. However, some of the movies will be good while others will not be as much. Paul Osborne had one of the best films at FLIFF in 2009 with "Official Rejection". He returns this year and it is a triumphant one with his new film, "Favor".
There is an old saying that a true measure of a friend is one who would help you move a dead body. Kip (Blayne Weaver) and Marvin (Patrick Day) are old childhood friends and that is exactly the favor Kip asks Marvin for when an affair he was having goes terribly bad. Marvin agrees to help his friend. The saying above leaves one important part out, make sure the friend who would help you move said dead body is a stable human being. Not long after the deed is done, Marvin starts popping back into Kip's life, looking for a bunch of favors of his own.
Paul Osborne not only wrote himself a tight script that he directs to perfection, he put together an excellent cast. One problem you sometimes see in independent films is weak acting. A bad performance will instantly take you out of a movie. A performance has to feel real, and the situation "Favor" presents requires strong acting. Weaver and Day are great together and all the acting on the screen feels genuine to what is going on in the story.
The FLIFF guide has "Favor" listed as a dark comedy, but it is mostly just a dark, gripping drama. Marvin is socially inept and is an out of work loser when we first meet him. As he keeps coming back to Kip looking for favors of his own from having Kip take him out to lunch to having Kip's wife try to set him up with one of her friends, the level of uncomfortableness rises each time Marvin comes a calling. Things finally come to a point where it is downright terrifying. Paul creates a lot of tension and uneasiness throughout the picture.
It's a great feeling finding gems like "Favor" at a film festival. Mostly because they are movies you hardly ever see in your local theater. That is why the FLIFF slogan of, "A vacation from ordinary film" fits so well here. You can see "Favor" starting this weekend when it premieres this Saturday night, October 19 at 9:00 pm at Cinema Paradiso, Fort Lauderdale. There will be additional screenings of the film during the festival's run and you can click HERE to see the schedule and to buy tickets. Do yourself a favor and check out this film.