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
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
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
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,
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