3/10 Nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 2023 Academy Awards ceremony, “Close” is Belgium’s underserving nominee that was only nominated due to identity politics and not due to actual quality. “Close” is about two 13-year-old boys who seem to be more than friends (anything LGBT related gets bonus points by the Academy, regardless of quality) but are getting bullied for their relationship. The boys Léo (Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (Gustav De Waele) deny being more than just friends and get mildly bullied at school. Léo begins pulling away from Rémi and Rémi ends up taking his own life after his best friend has pulled away from him due to pressures at school. Stories of gays being bullied or oppressed is nothing new in films and has become cliché at this point so the plot really brings nothing new to the table. A big problem is that because Rémi dies rather early on in the movie, we never really get to know him or care about him nearly as much as we should. This movie should be an emotional powerhouse like “Brokeback Mountain” and “Moonlight” were, but I found myself not caring about anyone because we never got to know them well enough. The movie feels rushed with the pacing simultaneously propelling the story forward too quickly without proper character development but also feeling slow and boring at times, which was another major problem. Overall, this is a boring movie with nothing new to offer. The score is forgettable and some of the editing choices were baffling. The movie would have a somber, sentimental, quiet moment only to quick cut to the kids playing hockey; jumping to a loud and bright scene, which felt off. There was a fair amount of filler in the movie to pad the running time when they could have just cut out a solid ten minutes or so. As for what works, the biggest thing the movie has going for it is the acting. While the entire supporting cast does a solid job, it is the young Dambrine who does put in one Hell of a performance, made all the more impressive by his young age. His relationship with Rémi’s mother was heartfelt and oddly more so than his relationship with his own mother but it worked. Besides the acting and some solid cinematography, the weak, unoriginal script, poor pacing, boring filler, etc. make this a forgettable movie that was only nominated due to its LGBT diversity, which is the most over-represented group in Hollywood compared to their percentage of the population.

#NotCloseToWinningTheOscar / #YouRémindMe / #FromBelglum / #BrokebackDrinkingFountain / #CloseYourEyesWhileWatchingThis / #Bros2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s