Hello Carter, is the debut feature of writer/director
Anthony Wilcox, this independent London set production
tells the tale of Carter (played by Charlie Cox) who
wants to get back in touch with his ex-girlfriend
Kelly, an American who he split up with sometime a
year previously. Carter attempts to get her
phone number from various avenues, and as luck would
have it he bumps into her brother Aaron (Paul
Schneider) on the tube.
However, a night out with each other leads to all sort
of problematic situations involving illegitimate
children, possible romantic connections with a
receptionist at a job interview Jenny (Jodie Whitaker)
and eventual realisation of the life's journey.
Filmed with a crispness and lightness of tone not
often seen in London set films which usually inhabit a
gritty urban milieu, the spirit of this film is meant
to be one of economic charm. From the genuine nature
of Cox's Carter and his belief to get a job, to the
winning combination of neat dialogue and the subtle
injection of panache with Aaron into the fray - the
film does not falter with its conviction of making a
passable attempt at doing a one night in London
Influences on the film range from Martin Scorsese's
After Hours to A Fish Called Wanda with the idiot
American attempting to take centre stage. Cox
channels his best Hugh Grant from Four Weddings and a
Funeral, a bumbling leading man who is beguiling and
put upon yet comes out of it smiling. He is matched by
Whitaker's Jenny, a tireless worker who may just be
the person he is looking for.
However, it may well be Schneider who gets the
plaudits as Aaron the B-list American actor who is all
gruff and the sheer force of nature that forces the
nights events to take hold. Schneider a veteran
of David Gordon Green films reminds us here of the
talent he clearly has at his disposal, and his casting
is a victory for Wilcox and his production team.
Yet for all this tale of impossible love together, the
film is also about aspirations of the characters.
Aspirations to be better than they are when we meet
them; a better job, a better father, a better life in
general. The reason this film may well connect
with audiences, in spite of the West London locale, is
that like all good comedies before it in the vein of
Wilder and Sturges, it shows us characters who have
hope above all.
Executive Produced by Michael Winterbottom, and
produced by Julian Bird, the cinematography is by
Andrew Dunn (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) whose
crispness helps in the condensed running time and
decisive nature of the film, in stark contrast to the
unsure being of Carter.
Making the leap from short films to this his debut
feature, Wilcox promises to be a talent to watch out
for. One that has an ear for good dialogue and for the
way life appears to his characters, his collaboration
with his production crew is worth mentioning as a
credit to getting good work out of tight constraints.
Hello Carter is out on limited release this Friday and
to download from Monday from Revolution Films, it is a
small gem of a movie that will be worth your
attention; engaging, direct and proof that there is
talent in the British independent film industry.
HELLO CARTER is in cinemas 5 December and on DVD &
Digital 8 December