Apple: “Saving Simon” - 3 mins
Father and son Oscar nominees Ivan and Jason Reitman have combined forces to make this rather beautiful Christmas film for Apple... and they've done it using the tech giants latest phone - the iPhone 13 Pro.
The pair have drawn a fantastic central performance from a little girl who decides that she must preserve the life of a small snowman – whom she's dubbed Simon – no matter what it takes. A full three minutes is devoted to this idea but the time passes without the slightest temptation to click away as we become completely engrossed in this unlikely drama. Every possible challenge from her father's ice cream addiction to a power cut and even a camping trip threaten Simon's solidarity, but he comes through each of these challenges thanks to his dutiful guard.
As Halloween arrives, it dawns on us that her aim is to nurse Simon through to the advent of winter and – in her neck of the woods – the salvation of reliable snow which will enable him to retake his position in her front garden. We won't spoil the ending in case you're reading this ahead of watching the film, but it's worth waiting for.
Its sentimentality is powerful before you even realise that they've created an allegory for the difficulties we've had getting through the pandemic this year. For so many, it was impossible to get together last Christmas, and the little girl is acting on behalf of us all as she carries her hopes from last year through to this.
The Reitmans have created an unambiguously lovely film... indeed, it's almost good enough for them to be forgiven the aberration that is 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife'. Almost.
||Ivan Reitman / Jason Reitman