In 2016, New Yorker Screening Room short, “Stutterer,” won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. “Stutterer” is a thirteen-minute movie about Greenwood (played by Matthew Needham), a young typographer living in London. Greenwood stutters and has great difficulty with verbal conversation. His life is depicted as somewhat reclusive, as we hear his thoughts running fluidly without a stutter, but witness his frustration in his inability to communicate with a service operator over the phone or with a woman asking for directions on the street.
He’s in an online relationship with a girl he has never met, and in their written correspondence, he is witty and charming. When she decides to surprise him with an upcoming visit to London, he panics. He makes an excuse not to see her. But of course, it doesn’t end there.
“Stutterer” is a sensitive film, exploring the often painful inner dialogue and isolating emotions present when a person experiences mental or physical differences. It is at the same time an uplifting love story that encourages us all to follow our hearts at all times.