As the push for Oscar short film short-list consideration has progressed throughout the fall, one movie stirring up some attention is multi-hyphenate Warren Pereira’s Salt and Silicone, a purported dark comedy offering up split perspectives of the same event — a public conversation about breast implants.
Vex (Pereira) is conflicted about the fact that his girlfriend Keira (Katie O’Grady) is scheduled to get breast augmentation. Out for a drive, they spot an acquaintance who has had the procedure, Jamie (Rachel Myers, above right), and stop to get her perspective. They head into a furniture store, where Vex fumblingly asks about her enhancement and the store’s worker, Jerome (Ethan Atkinson), insinuates his way into the conversation. Two more episodes offer up different takes on this chat.
Pereira’s film, even in its reticent first incarnation, has a certain cocksure verve throughout. But there is no substance to it, nothing really said about either how men regard women with boob jobs, or how women in turn feel about both their decisions in that regard and the reaction(s) of men to their decisions. Its depth is pantomimed, and imaginary — all bristling energy, as if the tonal differentiation in and of itself somehow makes for profound commentary. The dialogue is trite, which in turn certainly doesn’t help the performances.
On a technical level, the film is largely fine — it’s attractively shot (by Jeff Streich), with a few effectively subtle variations in style to draw attention to its changes in personality — but composer Daniel Reynolds’ music doesn’t match the moments, throughout. Faced with the choice of salt or silicone, viewers might instead be looking for a third box to check — neither of the above. For more information, click here. (W Films, unrated, 25 minutes)