Affairs of the Art (2021)

In this animated walk down memory lane, a 59-year-old Welsh woman recounts her life and reacquaintance with art—a new obsession in her later years. Going back to her childhood, Beryl (Menna Trussler) relives the history of obsession in her family:  her creative but sadistic sister Bev (Joanna Quinn), who kept bugs, hid food in drawers, and was obsessed with Lenin; her son Colin who took revenge on the neighbour’s cat after the murder of his pigeon; and her accommodating muse of a husband who models for her nude art projects.

Beryl’s midlife crisis and missing out on art school gives birth to a new artistic fervour, inspiring her to paint herself blue and break out a sketch pad, all while basking in the memory of her family’s eccentric hobbies and escapades. When her past regrets become too much, she takes comfort in Bev, who has reinvented herself in L.A. With rainbow-coloured hair and charcoal in hand, it’s the boost Beryl needs to see life after youth in a new light.

Directed by Joanna Quinn and written and produced by Les Mills, Affairs of the Art is another chapter in the life of their beloved character Beryl Thomas, who has a rambunctious spirit to counter her run-of-the-mill life as a factory worker. Affairs of the Art is the fourth film that chronicles Beryl’s antics, and here we get a peek at how her life evolved as a part of this kooky family. This endearing woman has earned Quinn and Mills a nomination for best animated short at the 94th Academy Awards.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette

Available on:

Type:

Film

Collections:

Animated Stories, Free to Watch, Oscars

Canadian connection

Affairs of the Art is the 76th Oscar-nominated film for the National Film Board of Canada.