Misty Button – A Film by Locked in the Attic Productions

Woodlawn Heights, Bronx – a predominantly Irish neighborhood. Sooner or later, everyone falls into Frank’s (Gerard McNamee) friendly, lowlit bar. Some practically live there. Everyone knows everyone. Thirty something James (Cillian O’Sullivan) Frank’s nephew, came over to write but hasn’t (as far as we know) put a word on paper. Fired from the bar for drinking up expensive stock and bedding every attractive female, he goes home to find his wife leaving him and begrudgingly takes a job at a café.  Ruby (Victoria Meade) who hangs around the café, turns up later at most inopportune times.

Cillian O’Sullivan and Victoria Meade

Best friend Eoin (Shaun Kennedy), apparently here without papers (a single reference), seems to do nothing but drink – and later do drugs. One infers he’s a slacker on and off the wagon. Frank’s other bartender Declan (Patrick Scherrer) is dating 18 year-old Brittany who’s so vapid and self-involved (she’s seems like 15) as to make the liaison unbelievable. When he declares his love, she distractedly says, “Thanks babe,” puts her headphones on, and bounces off, eyes glued to the phone.

One day, a gregarious stranger named Timmy Thomas (John Keating) enters the bar buying Eoin a drink, offering a proposition they take to James. The young men are to go to Harlem and place a $10,000 bet on “sure thing” horse Misty Button for which they’ll be paid $500 each. Timmy Thomas can’t do it himself because he’s on bad terms with the bookie. Odds are 35-1. Timmy Thomas stands to make a bundle. Unfortunately, James and Eoin naively get drunk and coked up instead, assuming the horse won’t win. But it does.

They quickly discover the bankroll did not, in fact, come from Timmy Thomas, but rather a thug named Alonzo (Bret Lada) who shows up with bodyguards demanding his win. He shoots Timmy Thomas and tells the boys they work for him now. Their first assignment is a murder. Ruby insinuates herself on the scene. She likes to play gangster. There’s an angry ghost. Family loyalty is shredded. Several robberies, more than one killing, and a suicide occur. (None overly gushing or gratuitous.) One action pushes the next like a pinball. Things, however, are not what they seem.

John Keating and Cillian O’Sullivan

The film is naturally acted and tautly shot. Leads are excellent. Its screenplay, though clever, has some holes. The film would improve with some background on the protagonists. Making Eoin and Jimmy alcoholics (the latter extremely depressed as well) because they’re Irish is lazy. Nonetheless, Misty Button (perhaps a better name?) is thoroughly entertaining. It’s unlikely you’ll figure out what’s happening much before James.

Misty Button (Film)
Locked in the Attic Productions New York
Written and Directed by Seanie Sugrue
With Gillian O’Sullivan, Shaun Kennedy, Victoria Meade, Patrick Sherrer, Bret Lada, John Keating (often seen onstage at Irish Repertory; always a pleasure to watch)

Opening Photo Shaun Kennedy and Cillian O’Sullivan Courtesy of Locked in the Attic

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About Alix Cohen (1011 Articles)
Alix Cohen is the recipient of nine New York Press Club Awards for work published on this venue. Her writing history began with poetry, segued into lyrics and took a commercial detour while holding executive positions in product development, merchandising, and design. A cultural sponge, she now turns her diverse personal and professional background to authoring pieces about culture/the arts with particular interest in artists/performers and entrepreneurs. Theater, music, art/design are lifelong areas of study and passion. She is a voting member of Drama Desk and Drama League. Alix’s professional experience in women’s fashion fuels writing in that area. Besides Woman Around Town, the journalist writes for Cabaret Scenes, Broadway World, and Theater Pizzazz. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine, Times Square Chronicles, and ifashionnetwork. She lives in Manhattan. Of course.