The Eleven O’Clock

The Eleven O'Clock

The Eleven O’Clock (the title refers to an eleven o’clock appointment) is one of the films I saw in early 2018 in a screening of the ten Academy Award-nominated short films. Five of those films were animated, and five, including this one, were live action.

The Eleven O’Clock is the one I’d rank fifth out of the five nominees in the live action category, but actually I thought it was quite good and could imagine it being my favorite or close to it some years. That’s just how phenomenal this set of films was overall.

I wonder if I would have been more impressed with it had I seen it by itself. I really think the context hurt it. It was the fourth film shown, with the first three being unusually good, highly intense, hard hitting, emotional dramas (about a school shooting, a precious deaf child being denied the kind of education and care that she desperately needs to thrive, and the murder of Emmett Till), and then along comes this comedy.

I suppose I could have experienced it as a welcome relief—like, yeah, those first three were really good, but I could use a change of pace from all that heaviness—but for whatever reason I did not. Instead, the context just made The Eleven O’Clock feel light in a frivolous way rather than light in a welcome way. (By the way, the fifth film was yet another very impressive, high quality, emotionally powerful drama.)

That’s unfortunate, because this film is in fact a well-written, well-acted, thoughtful comedy that deserves a positive rating.

Anyway, the premise is that a psychiatrist’s new patient is a delusional man who is convinced that he himself is a psychiatrist. So the patient strolls into the office at the time of his appointment, and immediately starts acting like it’s the psychiatrist who has an appointment with him because he’s the one who is a delusional person who thinks he’s a psychiatrist.

Thence commences a sort of duel to see whose view of reality will prevail, as each seeks to outlast the other and get him to realize that he’s not a psychiatrist after all. And really we as viewers don’t know for sure ourselves. I mean, we see that one is in the office first, so it’s natural to assume that that’s the real psychiatrist, but who’s to say he isn’t the patient and that he didn’t arrive early for his appointment to better impersonate the psychiatrist?

The only other person present is the receptionist, and normally that would settle things as she would know who the real psychiatrist is that she works for, but alas she is a temp and this is her first day.

There are some good laughs in this one. It’s a solid effort.

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