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by Hairy Stool


So glad I got to see this in the heats with an audience because this won't stay one of the hidden gems of the entire 2024 competition for long. I've found it fascinating that we had a spate of teams shooting scope in this comp for a while to go more 'cinematic', and yet it has come back around again with teams shooting academy for the tighter, more intimate framing. Paired with joyous spirit and emotional resonance and you're onto a winner like Hairy Tool.

The film itself is bloody gorgeous to look at, taking the viewer on a hazy whimsical tale of a scarecrow struggling with their core responsibility of saving corn in the most unlikely of bildungsroman scenarios.

A talking crow and naughty little elves give the film heart, with some very clever moments such as fracturing the line between reality and the film world with diegetic music and modernist touches.

Sound design is excellent and the titular hay stuffed protagonist gives one of the best performances of the year. The makeup is fantastic but they conveyed a really fantastic range of emotion and growth throughout the film from innocence to self discovery.

Now is the edit perfect? Not quite. But the sum of its parts works wonderfully fell. And is the production design perfect? Also not quite with the crow at moments sticking out a bit like a sore thumb, as do the elvish ears, though the sinister twists override those flaws.

Overall this is one of my absolute favourites of the whole competition this year.

A richly original film, that felt very well put together and was one of the most cinematic pieces I found early in my watchthrough marathon. A couple of technical hiccups that are definitely forgiven when dealing with a world built and vision as exciting as this one. Great message and ending - congrats to Erin on her performance!! I'll long remember Care Crow.

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