8 posts categorized "LGBT"

March 16, 2018


Call_me_by_your_nameEasily the most unintentionally camp movie of 2017, director Luca Guadagnio’s goofy gay romance drama betrays its oh-so-earnest attempts at being a European art film at every turn. If only this movie had half the ebullient joy of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” then perhaps there would be something for its audience to savor.

Without regard to its blatant pedophiliac underpinnings, “Call Me By Your Name” sets up a hopelessly phony and lightweight romance between Armie Hammer’s Oliver and Elio (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 16-year-old classical pianist who likes to transgress the demands of the classical cannon. So daring.


Never mind that a 32-year-old Hammer plays the 24-year-old Jewish American graduate student spending a summer in 1983 Italy with an archaeology professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) who sure knows how to set a Euro-styled lunch table. Elio’s bookish dad may as well be pimping his son out to Oliver in order to vicariously experience a clandestine homosexual connection he was never brave enough to execute when he was younger. Mr. Perlman’s movie-closing monologue is a thing of guffaw-inducing grandeur. You want creepy dialogue, you've got it. 


Even if the whole [overwrought] “call me by your name” thing doesn’t hit your funny bone, the eating-a-peach-filled-with-semen will. You’ll laugh at the wrong moments and you’ll wince at the whole wrongheadedness of this petite disaster. If only the actors and filmmakers had been in on the joke.    

Rated R. 132 mins. 

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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November 24, 2017


Colesmithey.comMade in 1961, six years before homosexuality was decriminalized in the UK, director Basil Dearden’s brave filmic treatise on the subject contributed to a sea change of public opinion. Here is a movie that is more riveting than necessarily entertaining, although it is that too.

Dirk Bogard gives a brilliant portrayal of Melville Farr, a London barrister living as a closeted gay man to his loving wife Laura (played by Syliva Syms). Farr becomes connected to a blackmail investigation related to the death of a young man with whom Farr had an ongoing affair.


Written by the husband-and-wife writing team of Janet Green and John McCormic, “Victim” is a love story, a who-done-it mystery, and a gripping social drama. Rich details in the narrative‘s social settings — a gay character’s chic apartment, a local pub, or that of a used bookstore — accurately place the political climate of the day. Freedom hardly exists for gay people whose sexual identities are under constant attack from all sides. "Victim" is an essential addition to the LGBT cannon that has the ability to put its audience in a cold sweat. The sense of fear on the screen is palpable.     


Not rated. 90 mins. (A) (Five stars — out of five / no halves)

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August 01, 2016


Summertime Poster“Summertime’s” French title “La Belle Saison” (“The Beautiful Season”) is more apropos for this beautiful film. French Cinema continues to reliably deliver dramatic pictures with serious social relevance and emotional resonance.

Emotionally honest, “Summertime” captures a blossoming lesbian romance struggling to survive against familial and societal factors in '60s era rural France after travelling from Paris.

Izïa Higelin gives a riveting performance as Delphine, a tough farm girl visiting Paris. Higelin’s solid build, and low center of gravity give her character an earthy, sensual physicality. Her endearing overbite is reminiscent of Adele Exarchopoulos in “Blue is the Warmest Color.”

The visibly gay Delphine is through with running the family farm with her provincially minded parents. They think their daughter should already be married, to a boy of course. “Loneliness is a terrible thing.” Delphine’s parents don’t know that she recently broke up with her childhood girlfriend. Her lover is switching teams, to get married.


The adventurous twentysomething Delphine finds her romantic soul-mate-apparent in the guise of Women’s Lib activist Carole (Cécile De France). Cecile De France has come a long way from the bat-wielding chic in Alexandre Aja’s “High Tension” (2003). Here, her maturity both as a woman and as an actress, gives the film a lusty feminist vision of liberation.


Co-screenwriter/director Catherine Corsini crafts a fine romantic period drama filled with organic feminine passion, and political energy. Jeanne Lapoirie’s unfussy cinematography is never less than intimate. American audiences looking for female-led dramas that are authentic by design need only seek out this impressive film.

Rated R. 105 mins. (B+) (Four stars — out of five / no halves)

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