Review: When You Left Me On That Boulevard

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Title: When You Left Me On That Boulevard
Director: Kayla Abuda Galang
Starring: Kailyn Dulay, Melissa Arcaya, Whitney Agustin
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Runtime: 13 min

What It Is: Ly and her teen cousins get high before a boisterous family Thanksgiving at their auntie’s house in southeast San Diego in 2006.

What We Think: From the first frame, Kayla Abuda Gulang envelops the viewer into a mid-2000’s dreamscape that acts as a blooming snapshot into a family’s life. It’s shot beautifully and the production design is immaculate, adhering to the world that came before social media and smartphones. At the core of this short story is the longing innocence of Ly (played wonderfully by Kaitlyn Dulay), set amidst the backdrop of a Thanksgiving dinner, which I must comment on again as being incredibly immersive and tangible thanks to the supporting performances.

Another aspect of this short that blows me away is how natural the chemistry is between family members and the ease of telling how deep their relationships run with simple glances. The writing is also this naturalistic, though the contained moments remained contained – the presentation is its greatest strength. The short really envelops the viewer into something than can only be described as a glossy photograph tucked away in a big brown photobook – it’s new to the touch, but the feelings it brings are of light nostalgia, an old remembrance. Makes me wonder how period pieces of the 2000’s will be filmed in the next 40 years, and if it’s anything like this, I’m all for it.

Our Grade: A; When You Left Me On That Boulevard is a treat. Great performances, visuals, and direction. Very excited to see what this director does next!

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