Starring – Tristan McIntyre, Ethan Haslam, Summer Moore, Francesca Calvo, Molly Allen, Cameron Tagge, Frank Harris, Edmund Truong
Directed by Matthew Allen
If I’m being honest here, I’m basically speechless when it comes to the short film Sunday Morning other than to say it is a powerfully emotional movie. Beyond that, I’m not sure I even want to talk about the film anymore, because it was just so incredibly distressing, because it was so incredibly real and raw about the subject matter – sexual assault.
It took me two days and two viewings to really get through Sunday Morning because I had to watch the film only half emotionally and mentally there because the movie handled the subject matter with such honesty that it was difficult for me to watch it. Even now, I’m still distraught at what I saw. So much so that words just aren’t coming to me to even write about the movie, only feelings.
horribly unsettling feelings.
All I really feel emotionally able to say about Sunday Morning is that the film is about Sean (Tristan McIntyre) who is home from college break and with the encouragement of his mom, decides to hang out with a childhood friend again, a friend who might be gay, just like Sean. I can’t really say any more than that, not only because the movie is so upsetting that I’m having a hard time writing about it, but also because the movie should be seen without knowing anymore about the sexual assault that occurs other than the warning given at the beginning of the movie that the “film contains scenes of sexual assault, manipulation and violence.” And please take the warning seriously, because the movie means what it says.
And the main reason why you should take the warning seriously is because you will fall in love with Sean and then have your heart utterly and completely broken as he falls apart thanks to the powerful performance given by Tristan McIntyre. The acting Gods were favoring Tristan while he was filming Sunday Morning because he captures having a breakdown with such realness that I kept having to turn off the movie because his breakdowns looked so much like mine, it was frightening. I’ve suffered from debilitating depression since I was 11 years old and have had more breakdowns than I even want to know about, and Tristan captured this state of mind and being so perfectly that it just became too upsetting at times for me to watch. The emotional toll he probably put himself through to capture that performance must have been incredibly painful and so I hope he took a nice vacation after the film wrapped or at least went out for a burger and fries or something fun afterwards. Good Lord this young man is one hell of a good actor! And I think I’m mostly speechless when it comes to what to say about Sunday Morning because his performance is still disquieting me days after I finished the film, it was just that good. But what I can find words for is that I can’t wait to see Tristan perform in the future. He’s got a sparkle on screen that will shine even more as he grows as a performer.
So, even though I can’t really find the words to talk about Sunday Morning, because it was such an incredibly upsetting movie, it is still a movie that should be seen. This is a subject matter that is incredibly important, especially in our community, where there are still so few films about us are being made, and certainly not many like Sunday Morning.
Sunday Morning is now available to view for free on Vimeo and will be available soon on Amazon Video as well. You can also find more about Downbeat Entertainment, which produced the film, at their website. They are a film production company “focused on creating material by, for, and about marginalized communities.” And to quote Siskel and Ebert, I say “thumbs up” to that.