Close Unclassified 18+
Viewer Advice: Includes themes that some may find distressing. Viewer discretion is recommended.
Childish homophobia poisons two teen boys’ lifelong friendship in this emotionally devastating Cannes Grand Prix–winning film from Lukas Dhont (Girl, MIFF 2018).
Léo invites Rémi to spend an idyllic summer together on his family’s flower farm in rural Belgium, where their imaginations can run wild. Thoughtful and affectionate with each other, the 13-year-olds don’t think twice about their closeness, even sleeping side by side. But when they start high school, their intimacy is questioned by the other kids, who ask pointedly if they are a couple. Suddenly aware that their friendship isn’t deemed ‘normal’ by their peers, Léo decides to change, pushing a confused and hurt Rémi out of his life – with tragic consequences.
Dhont’s lauded sophomore effort is a coming-of-age film of tremendous sensitivity and subtlety. A skilled director of young actors, he elicits natural and delicate performances from newcomers Eden Dambrine and Gustav De Waele, quietly observing their anguish up close and allowing silences to articulate feelings that are impossible to vocalise. Close displays its young maker’s maturing style, unfolding as a beautiful yet painstaking examination of the end of childhood and the insidious impacts of heteronormative pressure.
“Close swells into something profound and special … A practically perfect film about flawed, fallible people.” – i-D
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