Director: Nicholas Goodwin
Starring: Christina Goursky, Timothy J. Cox
Review Author: Tony
Welcome back ReelTimers (yes we’ve named our fanbase) to a fresh new year and what better way to kick it off than with a Spotlight. For any new readers, Spotlight is a category that allows us to reach out to independent and amateur filmmakers on a collaborative effort which can come in the form of a review/preview/interview or a general write-up. We allow the filmmakers to decide which medium best suits them and in return, we get the privilege of viewing their work.
We have a special feature for this year’s first Spotlight in that we actually have a link (above) to the full film in question and we recommend checking it out to see if we do it justice in this article. Beauty Queen is a short film from aspiring filmmaker Nicholas Goodwin that follows the story of an insecure but intelligent adolescent girl, Christina, who seeks to be identified as beautiful but soon finds through the guidance of her kind-hearted father what truly matters.
The story of Beauty Queen is not an unfamiliar one, many of us are on a quest to find beauty in the way we understand it. What makes Beauty Queen’s story different is how we can focus on the superficial aspects of beauty rather than seeking out the beauty that truly matters to ourselves. This theme is well conveyed in the opening scene where a classroom discusses the topic of being physically pretty which sows the seeds of doubt in Christina’s mind. This leads to insecurity and puts her down a path where she is confronted by vanity and sleaziness of the beauty industry in two separate encounters.
Thankfully Christina has a sweet and caring father who nurtures her intelligence and helps her find her true beauty. It’s evident in the scene where Christina finds out that she has been accepted into the College she desires but this sense of fulfillment is not enough due to her insecurity. This short does a great job of displaying how our focus on the superficial can distract from our real achievements.
It’s a well-acted short with some real chemistry from Christina Goursky and Timothy J. Cox that really sells the father-daughter dynamic. The camera work is well utilized with a good mix of wide shots and close-ups during conversations to capture the actor’s expressions. If I was to have one complaint it would be the audio as certain dialogue scenes were very low and had me turning up the volume for clarity and the scene at the modeling agency could have used some better acoustics. This is a minor gripe that can be easily rectified on Goodwin’s future projects with a little more sound testing.
Beauty Queen is a great first entry to hopefully a year with many more Spotlights. It’s sincere and has a real clarity in the message it wants to convey. It’s well shot and well edited with strong performances from it’s two central characters. Hopefully, we’ll see more from this team in the future.