The Cat in the Pan @ Montreal World Film Festival

It is not often that we review a short film, but this one is full of local talent that we couldn't resist. From actress/director Catherine Bütikofer to acting coach Steven Lecky the film is full of Montreal folks.

This 12 ½ minute short film is based on the play "The Role of Della" by John J. Wooter. It is the first film in a planned trilogy on women's stories called Wonderful Women. The short is completely female centered, but set in the acting world.

Actors are lined up to get times for auditions. Finally it is her turn and Elizabeth Ryan (Catherine Bütikofer) is not happy to get a 2:00 audition time. She is not happy with the late time, but is told to take it or leave it as there are only two audition times left and plenty of people still in line. Elizabeth takes it. On her way out she is offered $50 for her card just to audition. Obviously this is a audition people really desperately want.

When Elizabeth, who gets there early, arrives the director is shocked that she is auditioning for the role of Della. From beginning to end her audition is awful. The director hates the extract she chosen from Ipsen's "The Doll House". She hates Ipsen. The director ridicules Elizabeth at every turn and basically cuts her audition short. Suddenly, she tells Elizabeth to just tell a funny story, but then is less than impressed when she tries that.

Elizabeth is just going to leave thinking she's failed miserably when it becomes clear that in actuality the director loves her and thinks she's perfect for the part. She tells her she will call her that evening.

The next scene is nothing you would have predicted and ends the film on an adrenaline rush. You have a total "ah hah" moment. Fun stuff!

To turn a cat in the pan is an expression which means to be a traitor or a turncoat, turn the table on someone or reverse the truth. Acting is a rat race and this short really depicts how cutthroat a world it is. There is always someone ready to take your place whether you know it or not. What I liked about the short is that it doesn't telegraph what is coming up. It is done very cleverly as you never really know what is going to happen until it happens.

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