A MIghty Nice Man

| April 17, 2015

A Mighty Nice Man is a 12-minute short that is screening during the 14th Annual Tribeca Film Festival that runs until April 26 in New York City. Charlotte and her friend Emilie compete for the attention of a dashing, albeit significantly older stranger. The stranger tempts Charlotte away from her friend by offering her a ride in his automobile, which Charlotte accepts. Inside the car, Charlotte feels trapped, sensing the danger she is in and the man’s predatory intentions.

This film is set in rural 1940’s, and the two girls are so naïve, even though Emilie seems a bit worldlier than her friend. When the kind stranger happens upon them, the girls are fascinated because he says he is from New York City. While Charlotte’s mom is off working, and she is visiting with Emilie, the man entices the girls with candy. They inquire as to whether he has a car, and they are all the more excited about a return visit from him. When he whistles away while approaching Emilie’s house, Charlotte just goes off with him, with no care in the world.

However, as she gets in the car, she is frightened when he begins to drive quickly away. Watching the movie, albeit a short, you are so afraid for Charlotte, because this man is obviously a well-dressed pervert. A viewer could gauge life in the city and that in rural America and then figure, well, this is not so unusual that the girls would be enamored with this kind stranger. The more baffling part is what happens when Charlotte’s mother meets the kind stranger. All of a sudden, he isn’t that strange, after all.

Adapted from a Patricia Highsmith short story, A Mighty Nice Man is a tale of loss of innocence that centers around a pivotal moment in a young girl’s life when everything seems to hang in the balance. It is incredibly suspenseful and makes the viewer angry and filled with emotion at the actions of A Mighty Nice Man. This short is part of the 14th Annual Tribeca Film Festival’s Shorts Interference lineup. It screens for the first time on April 18 and a number of other times throughout the festival’s run. For more information, visit https://tribecafilm.com/.

About the Author:

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago. She is the author of "Old School Adventures from Englewood--South Side of Chicago" and the proud parent of "the smart rapper"--chemist-turned-rapper, turned humanitarian...Psalm One!
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