The Climb

By Lynne Davison | Drama
A recent widow pushes herself to climb a mountain for the first and only time.

Julia is a widow who lost her adventure-loving spouse quite suddenly, sending her into a deep grief. But after some time, she decides it’s time for a fresh start abroad with her young daughter.

Part of moving on is saying goodbye to her former life: she decides to climb her husband’s favorite mountain for the first and only time of her life. Guided by an old climbing friend of her husband’s, she faces the daunting task — as well as the heaviness of her own grief and sadness.

Writer-director Lynne Davison’s quietly powerful drama focuses on the deep stuff of life, capturing a powerful personal ritual of honoring memories and making difficult transitions into new stages of life.

Intimate naturalistic camerawork captures the raw primitive beauty of the Northern Irish mountainside and a melancholy sense of elegy in the washed-out, grey weather. But the film is focused on Julia’s emotional journey, and the often unspoken heaviness of memory, grief and sadness she carries with her.

With its emphasis on the internal tides of thought and feeling, the film rests on excellent writing and performances for its impact. Actress Joanne Crawford gives a beautiful subtle performance that captures the weightiness of Julia’s grief and loss, which colors the slow, hesitant way she speaks and flickers of uncertainty and sadness in her eyes, especially as she speaks of her husband.

Actor Ian Beattie — best known to audiences as the malevolent Ser Meryn Trant in Game of Thrones — plays off her well as the guide, both kindly acknowledging her loss with emotional generosity and compassion. As he guides her along, he unexpectedly offers her a piece of advice that allows Julia to confront the pain of her memories — and gives her a sense of peace before she starts her climb.

We don’t see Julia actually ascend her mountain in “The Climb,” mostly because her emotional arc in the film has been completed right before she begins. That last moment is a quiet reverie, a grace note of the love and tenderness that she lost and still longs for. She allows herself to soak in that memory one last time — and then lets go of with gratitude and grace, free to start her next stage in life. It’s a perfect goodbye, as well as a poetic conclusion for a poetic short — one rich with insight and wisdom on how we can let go of our grief while still honoring the memories of the people we love.




You Might Also Like:

Mordechai

By Benjamin Bee | Drama
An ultra-orthodox Jew hasn't seen his identical twin brother in years. But today is the day of their father's funeral.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
Her husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman confronts a painful time in her life after discovering the truth about a mysterious old man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man, upon dying, is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Cradle

By Devon Manney | Animation
Returning to the U.S. after losing both arms, a veteran battles phantom pains, prosthetics and memories of his pre-war life.

Hold On

By Charlotte Scott-Wilson | Drama
A young cellist develops stage fright after one of her cello strings comes lose during an important performance.

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.

Lost and Found

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A clumsy crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A once-legendary farmer takes a chance and invests 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
A man in a time loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

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.

Balance

By Mark Ram | Drama
Two friends climb a mountain, connected by a rope. But when one falls, the other's life hangs in an unstable balance.



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.