With the almost frightening speed with which film technology evolves, it has become less impressive for filmmakers to produce what was once an almost impossible feat: a full-length feature film. Now anyone with a mobile phone can do it, as Sean Baker’s ‘TANGERINE’ ,this year’s Sundance hit, can testify, which was shot purely on an iPhone 5S.

Although technology improves and there’s a ‘democratisation of filmmaking’ as they like to say, you still live and die by the golden rule of movie making: tell a good story. Directed by Remy Bennett and Emilie Richard-Froozan, ‘Buttercup Bill’ tells the story of a twisted romance between lifelong friends Patrick (Evan Louison) and Pernilla (also Bennett). Seeking comfort after the suicide of their childhood playmate, they go on a sort of road trip and reality soon begins to blur with fantasy.

‘Buttercup Bill’ is labelled a drama and a romance but it’s definitely not dramatic and, although there is chemistry between Louison and Bennett, it never connected with me like a good romance should. In fact the relationship, which we are introduced to with Patrick unrealistically throwing a bucket of cold water over Pernilla to wake her up, borders on the annoying. The film sags quite quickly and it’s all down to the writing. There’s no narrative drive, neither character seems to want anything tangible, and it reminded me of a pretentious play you would see above a pub.

‘Buttercup Bill’ also sadly features famous hallmarks of the student film; voiceover, flashbacks, needlessly dramatic cut to blacks and a lot of conversations pertaining to dreams. I believe you can implement these in stories but you have to be subtle and use them sparingly. All of the above are used in the first ten minutes! It’s too much - it whacks the audience over the head. It says, “I’ve just graduated from a film school. Look what I can do!”’

‘Buttercup Bill’ is far from being a film without merit; the soundtrack by Will Bates is solid, the cinematography by Ryan Foregger is beautiful and the acting is strong. Here’s hoping Bennett has a long acting career ahead of her. She has a natural quality that kept me watching, possibly more than the material justified. I believe the real discoveries here are the lead actors who I can see going onto great things off of the back of this work.

Parts of the film feel as it if they are straight from a music video but this doesn’t feel in sync with the story. Again it is style reigning over substance. Alyndra Lee Segerra from critically acclaimed New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff makes a cool cameo at the end and it wasn’t a totally redundant viewing; I will definitely be seeking out the soundtrack and following the acting career of Remy Benett.

I hope there is another film coming from Remy and Emilie soon, their potential is immense but they definitely have to mature as storytellers. I’m in awe of what they have achieved, but an audience member doesn’t know budget or how young the creators are before they sit down in the theatre. Dull is dull.











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