A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.
Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.
Felix van Groeningen
Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.
George Tillman Jr.
A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.
In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
Leo is 22 and sells his body on the street for a bit of cash. The men come and go, and he stays right here - longing for love. He doesn't know what the future will bring. He hits the road. His heart is pounding.
I actually enjoyed the movie, and the acting was decent for the most part. However, these things really bothered me:
1. The star's first sexual encounter was with a straight-acting jock who looks like a model and who just happens to be addicted to raping men he knows personally, despite the fact his victims would most likely welcome a healthy sexual relationship with the attacker and the attacker could have as much sex as he wanted with men by going to a bar or club, or downloading a dating app. This is pretty much unheard of in the gay community, and fosters the false idea that homosexuality is a mental health disorder. This is not to say there are no unhealthy relationships in the gay community. There certainly are. It is just that the one portrayed just didn't seem right. Especially not the awkward encounter itself. It was clearly two straight actors and a straight director fumbling around with subject matter they didn't relate to or understand. See #2 below.
2. The lead role is played by someone who isn't gay. What about the guy who his first portrayed sexual encounter is with? He also happens to be a straight man. What about the director? Again, a straight man. I could tell this before I checked, but I checked anyway. This is not to deny that Lucas Hedges is a decent actor. I actually respect his acting skills very much. However, this particular movie was less about what it is like to be gay, but more about what straight men think it's like to be gay. I realize that an actor does not have to had lived through all the things they are acting out to do a good job, but it was painfully obvious throughout the movie that all the major roles went to straight men that couldn't connect to the subject matter on any meaningful level. Thus, the movie missed the mark in terms of authenticity and failed at its primary purpose of documenting the horrors that real gay men have to go through. It is kind of sad in that many reviewers seem to think this movie was dead on, when any gay guy is left knowing it wasn't right.
Hollywood has many decent gay actors who would have loved these roles, and would have had much better insight into how to play the character properly. Denying gay men even gay parts in movies is a very disturbing trend. Would anyone tolerate it if the black people in the movie were played by whites in blackface and the Asians were played by Germans with eye make-up? I hope it is not true, but it gave the impression that the director and producer felt that gay men were too repulsive and/or lacked the talent to be given lead roles, even in a movie about being gay.
3. The movie made conversion therapy seem better than most summer camps in America. It is actually very devastating. Why not show conversion therapy for the horror it really is? The movie fell flat in showing how hard this is on the kids themselves. This movie should have delved more deeply into the emotional turmoil they would have felt, but it didn't, and I felt almost nothing. Instead, it portrayed conversion therapy as well-intended but misguided, when in fact it is a form of severe torture and abuse. You are left wondering if the director intentionally did this to avoid lawsuits or protests. In short, it was way too soft in its approach to give it historical significance or to spark much of a call for change.
4. There was pretty much no meaningful dialogue or relationships between the kids in the program. Not very realistic. Gay guys often have strong personalities, but those portrayed seemed to have none.
With the subject matter, this could have been one of the best and most important movies ever made. Instead, it seemed more like an after school special put together by some uncomfortable straight guys. Albeit I am sure everyone involved was trying their best to respect the gay community , ironically in the same misguided way as conversion camps were portrayed, the fact that they didn't really include them in acting roles and direction as much as they should have kind of defeated the whole purpose of the movie, not to mention the director's refusal to deliver any real hard punches. Because of some of these flaws, I can understand the position that this movie could be viewed by some as insulting to the LGBTQ community. It would have been nice if the director made some real, rather than merely superficial, attempt to include and understand the community he sought to profit from.
22 of 47 people found this review helpful.
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