Written and directed by lead actor Timothy J. Cox, co-directed by Jamie Cox, a day in the life of therapist Dr. Peter Marcus who, due to the pandemic, now conducts sessions with his patients online. Also starring: Nancy Kellogg Gray, Matthew Harris, Becca Robinson, Bob Rutan and Heidi Swarthout.
This short film explores an issue which is rarely discussed, and one that became immensely more relevant as the pandemic took hold, just because a medical professional is giving help, doesn’t mean they don’t need it to. Trying to spend all day helping others with their mental health troubles, while dealing with the typical isolation and trapped feelings of lockdown is a sincere burden to bear. Timothy J. Cox captures that feeling well, it’s achieved in a manner that’s simple yet very effective. The writing is filled with brief moments but all of it is extremely relatable, it’s specific enough to give the characters personality but also vague enough that it can represent a universal feeling without having to delve into much detail.
Directorially it’s a touch rough around the edges and the editing can feel blunt at times but that’s counterbalanced with its creative energy. It also gets a lot of points for dealing with a style that can come with a disconnected feel but managing to make it feel sympathetic quite easily and connected. It creates another example of what can be done in such a restrictive time with limited resources.
Timothy J. Cox’s performance is understated, the emotions are clear but not overt, it’s refined but there’s also a softness to it. It’s a similar case with the whole cast, each are providing snippets of individual struggles and none of them push for a dramatic edge, they’re even with a fluid energy. Next to Cox, Bob Rutan gets the largest segment, and similarly he nicely holds back but still brings a sincere amount of emotion, he portrays the hurt that lays just beneath the surface very well.
Live Health finds a kind and sympathetic way to explore how everyone needs help, even those that are providing it. It’s a lovely reminder that after a horrific period for healthcare professionals, they need support too. The performances are all subtle and emotional, as well as undeniably relatable. It could be finessed a touch visually but it’s not a factor that would hinder your enjoyment in any way. It’s another example of how filmmakers got creative when the world was shutting itself down, showing that having limited options doesn’t have to stop you from making something new.