Who You Love (Film Thoughts: Giant Little Ones)

1549491425_poster-large‘Giant Little Ones’ now has the distinction of being the first movie for 2019 that has made me cry. Yes, yes I know that it is kind of easy to do that, but to be the first to make me ‘ugly cry’ is  a good thing. I love coming-of-age stories, and this one is not necessarily a gay coming of age one – its message is more for fluidity. But nonetheless, it packs a lot of emotions in a touching story.

Frank (Josh Wiggins) has been best friends with Ballas (Darren Mann) until one night that somethign happens between them. It drives Ballas away, and complicates their friendship. But Franky isn’t necessarily gay – he is also attracted to Natasha, Ballas’ sister. Or maybe he is too young to really get the nuances of sexual attraction. It doesn’t matter, as the film teaches tolerance for young people to explore what is in their hearts. Wiggins is great, echoing a young Matt Damon with his floppy hair. We see his character very cool with their father – it turns out that he left their mother for another man (Kyle McLachlan and Maria Bello play his parents) and of course that makes matters more complicated. Sure there are a lot of politics and messages here that can be interpreted in very different ways, but I am not interested in that. This is a warm story that made my heart melt, and for me that is always worth more than anything else.

 

A Frenchman In Canada (Movie Thoughts: What We Have)

MV5BMzgwNjc0NzQwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDU5NjE3ODE@._V1_It’s always refreshing for me when I find a film that seems like it did not come from a factory. Everything in ‘What We Have’  is interesting, and unpredictable, but never manufactured or fake. It’s the story of Maurice, played by Maxime Desmons, who also wrote and directed this film. Maurice is an actor has moved from Paris to a small Northern Canadian town,  and the locals are asking why he would ever move there. We find that he has a lot of demons inside him, and slowly these come out as he gets entangled in the life of Alan (Alex Ozerov) his French language student.

This is a very affecting story, and you at once get invested in these people’s lives. The story takes interesting twists and turns, and at times is very unsettling to watch – but it is extremely real and explores issues of loneliness, commitment phobia, and teenage bullying. It is exhilarating, and it never alienates. Desmons is fantastic, with just the right amount of detachment to make you feel for him as you feel his journey. It will leave you thinking about the characters even after the film has ended.