Skip to main content

LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION!

USA, 1996 (MIFF 1997, International)

Director: Joe Mantello

A moving and frequently hilarious adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning Broadway play, Love! Valour! Compassion! traces the interwoven lives of eight gay men over a summer in upstate New York.

Every year Gregory, a successful choreogra­pher, and his blind lover Bobby, entertain their closest friends at their country home. Amongst the regulars is the exceptionally bitter John Jeckyll, whose complicated personality is revealed only through his piano playing and nasty retorts to even the most polite enquiries. Curiously enough, his identical twin brother, James, is John's polar opposite, a warm and tender man in the final stages of AIDS.

The vibrant, disparate personalities make for comic friction. Steadfast couple Arthur and Perry bicker constantly but are inseperable. Buzz - a campy turn by Seinfeld's Jason Alexander - is hilarious, effusive and unhealthily obsessed with the golden age of the stage musical.

This summer proves different to the rural idyll the group are used to. The inclusion of dashing and charismatic young dancer Ramon inflames passions and tempers. Troubling questions of personal and creative mortality darken the festive air, and draw Buzz and James together. Cross-currents of betrayal, disappointment and desire, both expressed and repressed, disrupt the easy camaraderie of the household. Although fate will eventually take these men in very different directions, it will be a summer they will never forget.

See also...

DREAM WITH THE FISHES

Terry, is a buttoned-down and uptight loner who has been feeling suicidal since the sup­posed death of his wife. His lonely past-times involve binoculars and his neighbours' open win­dows ... More »

MUGSHOT

A white man is mugged and beaten in Harlem and wakes up with amnesia in a Kafkaesque nightmare of a room. His only hope is a black man, Rumor, who promises to help him get out but decides to keep him ... More »

COURTING COURTNEY

Courting Courtney is Paul Tarantino's (no rela­tion) first project, his previous experience in film coming from his job in the marketing department of Walt Disney Studios and the classes he ... More »

WAITING FOR GUFFMAN

Christopher Guest - central to This Is Spinal Tap as the bard in blonde bangs, Nigel Tuffnal - directed, starred in and scripted Waiting For Guffman. It boasts the same hysterical improv/mockumentary ... More »

LAYIN' LOW

One of the more accomplished of the recent crop of low budget, independent US films. This deadpan comedy features two feckless losers, Jerry and Christy, as its main characters. Their lives suddenly ... More »

THE DAYTRIPPERS

An appealing souffle of modern marriage and family tribulations, Greg Mottola's first feature rises high above the sitcom standard of so many contemporary romantic comedies. Eliza finds a poetic love ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director