ladyoflisquill: (Misc - preciousthings by enriana)
(a.k.a. You know you're getting old when you need glasses to read the subtitles.)

Patrik Age 1.5 is a Swedish movie about Goran and Sven, a gay couple who are waiting for the arrival of their adopted son Patrik aged 1,5. When their son actually shows up it turns out there was a typo and instead of the toddler they are expecting, they get a 15 year old homophobic delinquent with a history of violent behaviour. Cue the hilarity...

...or not as the case actually is. There are funny moments in the movie and the neighbourhood they live in has a certain cookie cutter feel to it, but Goran and Sven themselves are presented in a realistic and low-key way. In fact as the film progresses it's interesting to see how much the white picket fences and perfectly manicured lawns of their neighbours hides the real story of their "ordinary" families. 

While there are no real surprises to the movie the two main characters, Goran and his "son" Patrik, are beautifully acted and show complex personalities and their difficulty in dealing with themselves, their relationships and the world around them.

This movie may not be groundbreaking but it does show us that if we look past the stereotypes and labels placed on those around us we might just find something we like... and perhaps even someone to love.
Click to see trailer )
ladyoflisquill: (Misc - girls by boundary)
Finally getting back to movie viewing (and reviewing) and first up is Common Ground, an triptych of stories from the small town of Homer, Connecticut which deals with gay & lesbian stories over different periods of the town's past and present.

Starting in the 50s with the return from the Navy of Dorothy Nelson, played by Brittany Murphy, after her blue discharge (used by many COs to get rid of homosexuals ), continuing to the 70s and the story of a closeted French teacher Mr Roberts and his student Toby as both struggle with the difficulties of coming out. Finally moving to 2000 & the "wedding" day of Amos & Andy, where along with dealing with the anti-gay protesters & his stubborn father, Amos is getting cold feet about the wedding and his conformity to a heteronormative life.

Watching the movie I was struck by Brittany Murphy. While she may not have been completely believable as a former navy officer, her ability to portray a character who was taking her first steps towards realizing and accepting her sexuality was realistic and intriguing. And while the last story of the wedding was hopeful it was perhaps a little to saccharine for my taste. But most poignant was the 70s tale of Mr Roberts and Toby, a student who, in his teachers own words, is top of all his classes, on the varsity swimming team, is going to Harvard and yet is bullied and attacked by his team mates for his perceived gayness. It instantly reminded me of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover & Jaheem Herrera, the 11 year old boys who committed suicide last April after enduring daily repeated bulling from school mates about their perceived gayness.

Overall the movie may not have had the impact on me a other films, If These Wall Could Talk 2 which was also released in 2000 springing instantly to mind due to the similar story telling device, it is definitely an interesting look at the developing attitudes towards LGBT community within small town America.

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ladyoflisquill

May 2012

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