Brooklyn, the present. Charles, a video editor who compiles celebrity obituaries for TCM, is holed up in his brownstone apartment fighting to hit a deadline and smarting from a recent break-up with his cheating girlfriend. He hardly knows his neighbours – a situation that is about to change when he accidentally locks himself out and is stranded on the busy summertime street with no money, no shoes and very little juice in his mobile. What follows is a rambling and hugely enjoyable series of vignettes, as our innocent abroad is forced to interact with each of his neighbours in turn, as well as with an over-zealous traffic cop.
Wonderfully capturing the ambiance of its leafy Brooklyn neighbourhood, The Outside Story has something hopeful to say about the value of community, especially relevant in light of our experience battling a global pandemic. It’s also a revelatory vehicle for the immediate charm and considerable comic talent of its lead Brian Tyree Henry (Widows, Joker, If Beale St Could Talk), who carries every scene with ease. Charles doesn’t stray far, but discovers a whole world of experience, each encounter adding to his growing realisation that he’s been foolish to dismiss his girlfriend as well as revealing the positive impact he can have on his neighbours. As we trail Charles on his day-long mini-odyssey, it’s hard not to warm to the film’s irrepressible optimism and upbeat humour.
“…disarming in its utter lack of cynicism… particularly refreshing in establishing such a strong sense of community… almost radical in its kindness, tracking all the small ways in which its lead is opened up to evolving and quite possibly having a similarly subtle impact on anyone fortunate enough to see it.” - Stephen Saito, The Moveable Fest.
“This film is just adorable and I hope people take the time to check it out.” - Amy Nicholson, FilmWeek.
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