gillery's little secret
(short film - 25 minutes)


Written and Directed by T.M Scorzafarva (from the Ali Vali short story)

While I don't usually review short films, I'm making an exception and doing a short review in this case purely because of the talent involved in the project.

This 25 minute short (based on a short story) tells the story of Gillery (Annabeth Gish, looking stunning I have to say), who left her small town, and her high school sweetheart Bernadette, for college twenty years before. Now she's returned for her high school reunion.

No sooner does she get into town when Gillery is confronted by Blake, Bernadette's daughter. Blake is confused. She knows she doesn't look like her dad, or her brother. To be honest, she looks more like Gillery. All Blake knows is that her mother and Gillery were lovers once, and that she wants to know the truth about her real parentage.

After this is a series of bizarre sequences in which everyone seems to find it necessary to remind us that Gillery couldn't possibly have impregnated her ex. To be honest, I didn't actually need much convincing. In fact, I have a reasonable grasp on biology, and know well enough that two women can't have a child together. How odd that this film seems to want to make a mystery out of this fact.

What follows is a fairly perfunctory explanation and conclusion, and Gillery leaves town again a little more the wiser. It isn't a very satisfying story as is; when you watch it you feel like you're watching a trailer for a much longer film. I'll say one thing, I'm incredibly glad that Gillery's secret didn't turn out to be that she's gay. Having her be out and not at all self-conscious from the outset is refreshing.

I know that the film company behind this project actually are trying to get funding for a feature version of this story. All I can say to them is, if you do get this project green lit, make sure that Annabeth Gish stays on board. She's positively luminous, and shows not the slightest bit of discomfort in her lesbian role. The fact that the actors on this project seem to have some real chemistry is what makes the film kind of enchanting.

I'd like to suggest some improvements though. Some of the dialogue needs to be re-examined to actually sound like words that real people would say. Oh, and the name of the film sucks.

But the location shots are nice, particularly those of Gillery by the lake and of the small-town ambience. Getting actors of this calibre helps enormously, and the film has a polished, well-produced look and feel that lifts it above your usual indie fare.

Since this is a short film and impossible to compare to feature films,you should probably take the star rating with a grain of salt. However, I do recommend tracking this down if, like me, you're either a huge fan of Annabeth Gish or a sucker for cute little lesbian love stories.

Strike one more off my list of women I've always wanted to see play a lesbian!

To purchase Gillery's Little Secret on DVD, see for details.

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Last updated: November 10 2009