After years of being home schooled by hippie parents, Emerson is enrolled at his local high school. The intelligent and androgynous youth confounds his classmates and captures the attention...
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In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.
Nathan, 16, lives alone with his father Stephane. A newcomer in high school, he is invited to a party and falls in love with Louis, a boy in his class. They find themselves out of sight and... See full summary »
Tel Aviv, Summer 1989. Boaz, a beautiful and alluring linguistics student, receives anonymous, male-written, love letters that undermines his sexual identity and interfere with his peaceful life with his beloved girlfriend.
After years of being home schooled by hippie parents, Emerson is enrolled at his local high school. The intelligent and androgynous youth confounds his classmates and captures the attention of his English teacher. The teacher-student relationship leads to problems for everyone involved. Written by
This is one of those rare, seemingly perfect little movies that takes a specific situation and somehow makes it seem to contain the whole world a universal story that contains a humor and poignancy we can all relate to. I'm thinking of movies like Harold and Maude, or The Graduate. It has that sheer deliciousness, a meal you find that you want to eat over and over. I saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival sort of by chance, it fit into my schedule and I wasn't expecting much, just another Canadian movie that might be competently made and sincere but somehow would fall short of really being satisfying or engaging or having much to say. Boy was I wrong. In the days that followed, the movie would not leave my head. And then I happened to be in Montreal this week and last night it was the opening night film at the image + nation film festival here so I went to see it again. And it was even better the second time, which is the real test with this kind of movie, by which I mean the kind that has lines of dialog you just want to repeat ("how long does this right of passage thing last?" or dad explaining to his son why masturbation is better than wet dreams, "too much laundry is bad for the environment"), and a cast of characters you wish you knew in real life. They are so complex and real, and the movie sees them with love and acceptance but at the same time humor, in spite of their failings and foolish actions. Its also the nuanced performances; as the teacher Daniel McIvor shows the character's strength and weakness. As the boy Aaron Weber is a revelation, the gutsiness of this kid's performance, from his naked saunas to his simultaneous innocence and calculation, is amazing (and hard to believe its his first film role). The story is consistently surprising, it never sells its characters short, or the audience, respects us enough to not spell everything out. The screenings were filled not only with laughter, but gasps of disbelief at how far the 13 year old main character goes. I still can't figure out how the filmmakers took something that should have been off-putting and weird (13 year old boy putting the moves on his gay 40-something English teacher) and made it something not only consistently surprising but touching and funny and involving. It is not per se a gay coming of age movie, I suppose you could say that it's a bisexual coming of age movie but really it seemed much more than that (as the kid in the movie says, "those are just labels"). Calling it a gay Napoleon Dynamite like one of the other reviews did is kind of silly, because that movie takes so-called *normal* people and makes them seem weird, this movie takes so-called *weird* people and makes us recognize ourselves in them even if we would judge them in real life. And this movie is damn funny but in a way that is at the same time open-hearted and totally unsentimental. After two viewings I feel like there's still so much more there to be revealed in this movie, and I think it's one I will return to again and again. Can't wait until I can purchase it on DVD. If this movie isn't widely distributed it will be a crime.
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