An overweight boy finds courage and self-acceptance in the most unexpected way. | Ari
Being a kid is tough. Being yourself is even harder. Overweight, shy and introverted, Ari wants nothing more than to fit in. He develops a crush on his fellow student, Jess, and attempts to lose weight and become more outgoing in his quest to belong. But his efforts only cause him more humiliation and pain, making him feel even lonelier and sadder. Finally, he makes a public declaration of his own self-acceptance -- and discovers his own value. This touching coming-of-age short touches on universal themes and common experiences that have been mined before, but director Alex Murawski offers a fresh, engaging take on the genre, capturing Ari's story with beautifully precise camerawork and well-honed performances. They bring to life a well-crafted script that underplays the emotions without ever undercutting them, and the result is a film that is still sensitive and avoids melodrama. "Ari" immerses the viewer in the main character's inner life, truly allowing audiences to inhabit his existence and open up a wellspring of compassion. Self-acceptance and the courage to be yourself are universal themes, but Ari's final actions in the film are surprisingly thought-provoking and heartwarming -- and will have you smiling to yourself at the end.