The Crush is a seamless comedic thriller about a sophisticated eight- year- old boy’s first crush. The film follows young Ardal Travis’ (Oran Creagh) pursuit of his second grade teacher, Ms. Purdy’ s (Olga Wehrly), affection.
Oran Creagh’s surprisingly polished delivery of Ardal’s deadpan locution provides The Crush with a strong dose of humor. The film opens with the second grader giving Ms. Purdy a small, plastic ring. “It’s important that you know how I feel about you,” Ardal says matter of factly.
His hopes are dashed when he and his mother run into Ms. Purdy and her arrogant fiance while shopping.
An avid fan of Westerns, Ardal begins to plot his revenge and challenges the fiance to a duel. The film treats this motif delicately, never shoving the similarities in your face.
The duel is the most intense scene of the film with Ardal bringing a eerily real pistol along with him. Writer and director, Michael Creagh, masterfully injects a shot of pure suspense pairing the exchange between Ardal and Ms. Purdy’s fiance with quick cuts and camera movements.
The film is an homage to the dedication one has to their first crush and is easily relatable.
Last year’s Live Action Short winner, The New Tenants, while also including humor and suspense, is a vastly different film than The Crush, taking a seemingly more serious approach. Whether or not this is any indication of Crush‘s chances of winning the Oscar, the film is memorable in the sense that it combines relatability, carefully built up suspense, and thoughtful dialogue and humor. Not to mention, Oran Creagh’s impressive acting ability.
Hopefully it will win for best live action short, but even if it doesn’t, it’s still a worthwhile film to watch. It’s also available for purchase on iTunes, for only $2!