The Spa

By Will Goodfellow | Drama
When an old man decides he doesn't want his new spa, the deliveryman suspects there's more to the story.

Don, a recently widowed retiree, is still in the midst of a debilitating grief when he gets an unexpected delivery. It’s a hot tub that his deceased wife Genevieve ordered before she passed away. He refuses the delivery, unable to deal with the reminder of his loss.

The deliverymen don’t know what to do, especially since Mike seems to be in a daze. Taking it back is a logistical nightmare, so they decide to install it anyway. When head deliveryman Ivan realizes Mike’s wife is dead, the crew take time to hang out with Mike, giving him a moment of grace in a difficult time.

The heart of Australian writer-director Will Goodfellow’s touching dramedy is undeniably full of sorrow and grief. Don is immobilized by his sadness, and he is a small, isolated center that the rest of the characters weave around as they try to get on with his work, at first oblivious to his feelings and situation. They brush off his strangely subdued behavior as an oddity and go about their jobs, making jokes and talking about their upcoming sports matches on the television.

The ensemble of performances is excellent all-around, highlighting the discrepancy between those who are grieving and those who are not. The film has a gently ironic sense of observation and humor, pointing both toward how the deep, intense rawness of grief can isolate those experiencing it and how our daily obligations and needs can cause us to go into autopilot, unaware of what’s in front of us.

The juxtaposition is also emphasized through sensitively directed camerawork and editing, which observes one set of characters’ brisk, businesslike rhythm buzz around Don’s isolation. The pace takes an an occasional beat to watch the deliverymen puzzle at their client’s oddness, and as they become aware of the reasons behind Don’s behavior, it’s remarkable to see them become present to Don’s reality and gently re-align themselves to make room for his emotions.

The resulting choice makes “The Spa” a small yet graceful narrative about everyday compassion and emotional intelligence. What’s remarkable is that the deliverymen’s generosity and kindness doesn’t make Don’s grief disappear. Instead, by giving him their simple warm presence and acceptance, they give Don a safe space to acknowledge how much he loves and misses his wife. By the time we reach the end of this remarkably tenderhearted film, Don has moved forward — even just a bit — in the company of his new companions, and viewers will come away with a renewed sense of how people can extend kindness towards one another in the simplest, most elemental ways.




You Might Also Like:

Don’t Be a Hero

By Pete Lee | Drama
A middle-aged woman battles her loneliness and boredom by robbing banks in the guise of a cowboy on her lunch break.

Our Kind of Love

By Elham Ehsas and Azeem Bhati | Romance
An Afghan village girl goes on her first date in London.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A once-legendary farmer takes a chance and invest his life savings in a thoroughbred piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
Two strangers, trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception, end up making an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
Two brothers caught in a time loop must traverse a series of maze-like events in order to prevent a catastrophic fire from occurring.

Garfield

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. Then, she start to piece together how she got there.

Partners

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's love life begins to slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship and confront how intertwined they've become.

Small Arms ft. Tyler Young

By Arman Cole | Drama
A bullied college student seeks out shooting lessons with an ex-militia member to prove his manhood.

Spoetnik

By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man finds himself in between a food-truck and a brothel. Then, he meets his dream girl.

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A heartbroken woman finds a one-night stand. But the guy lives two hours away... via public transit.

Ten Thousand Days

By Michael Duignan | Comedy
A man is convinced he'll die on his 10,000th day. But when he meets a girl at his cousin's funeral, things don't go to plan.

Pawns

By Tyrees A. Lamptey | Drama
A WW1 soldier is trapped in a trench with the enemy... and it restores their faith in humanity.

Pitter Patter Goes My Heart ft. Vicky Krieps

By Christoph Rainer | Romance
A hopeless romantic takes desperate measures to win her former lover back. But he already has a new girl at his side.

Grape Soda

By Justin Robinson | Drama
A marriage, broken by death, is kept alive by the memories held through grape soda.

Los Angeles 1991

By Zac&Mac | Drama
The streets of Los Angeles have become a hotbed of racial tension and hate about to burst.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.