Shia LaBeouf has written and directed “Howard Cantour.com.,” a promising short film about an online movie critic.
The roughly eleven-minute short follows a tired, philosophically conflicted Howard Cantour (Jim Gaffigan) whose tepid sympathy for his former director hero gets in the way of a harsh review. As Howard steers through the intricate moral dilemmas of his thoughts on cinema and the decidedly influential powers he carries from review to review, LaBeouf offers a pleasantly entertaining take on the inward struggles of a veteran film critic.
What is particularly eye-catching about “Howard Cantour.com” is that while it could so seamlessly fall apart and spiral out of control from a constant, over-packed cascade of themes and ideas, its hero’s sympathetically and comically sullen demeanor holds it all together. “Howard Cantour.com” seems to introduce an ethical impasse, a subtle love interest with freelancer Dakota Zearing (Portia Doubleday) and a series of musings, but LaBeouf’s memorable short is ultimately a surprisingly successful movie on the experience of watching a movie that should only serve to encourage LaBeouf to further test the directorial waters.
“Howard Cantour.com” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and screened at the Aspen Shortsfest.
Check out the full short below: