In Review: Disobedience

The saying “you can never go home again” means something different for queer folks. At best, our formative communities and family units still carry the feeling of before and after we became someone else. For those of harsher reality, a return brings it’s own consequences, a reckoning of lingering past, anxious present, and uncertain future. If this person is permitted to return at all.

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In Disobedience, the latter is closer to the truth for Ronit, a photographer and former member of an enclosed conservative Jewish community, played with tense reserve by Rachel Weisz. Her return is prompted by the funeral of her strict father to which she was estranged, but the real coming home is to her former trio unit with the doting Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) and Esti (Rachel McAdams). Dovid has risen in the ranks of the Orthodoxy as a rabbi and Esti is now his wife, creating odd maneuverability around what their group has been and how it has changed.

But the meaningful glances between Ronit and Esti tell us all we need to know about this repressed shared past. And yet the palpability of the unspoken brews questions upon questions for us until they can now more stifle themselves behind their darting eyes and hesitant sentences.

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In Review: Terminal

“Margot Robbie. Your pulp didn’t pop, and your Sin City femme fatale was not a sin-sation. You’re safe.”

Several things are certain with the Margot Robbie-starring pulp thriller Terminal. First, Robbie and the film are largely in drag – as a femme fatale for the star, and the movie itself as a hyper-designed genre piece. Second, it’s not always good drag but a hoot nonetheless. Third, it’s essentially only Robbie that emerges unscathed. RuPaul and Frank Miller wouldn’t be upset, just disappointed.

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In Review: Flower

Director Max Winkler’s Flower attempts a coming of age to make John Waters proud, and comes up a good deal off the mark. The film stars an effervescent Zoey Deutch as Erica, a teenage miscreant to spend time with her friends trapping middle aged perverts into emptying their bank accounts after sexual entrapment. Her mother (played by the ever delightful Kathryn Hahn) has invited her newest suitor to live with them, and with him comes Erica’s would-be step-brother: a fresh-out-of-rehab, panic-attack-stricken overweight quiet guy named Luke (Joey Morgan).

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In Review: Unsane

Steven Soderbergh’s quiet return from non-retirement continues with a decidedly less fun entry than last summer’s Logan Lucky. This time the filmmaker goes for psychological horror with Unsane, a psych ward-set tale of compliance, paranoia, and dominance. The film is also a return to the low budget, grungy digital filmmaking that he has often been fascinated with, this time to equally grimy material.

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In Review: Love, Simon

If only more mainstream films could bestow the grace upon its subject and citizens as new high school romantic comedy Love, Simon. From the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, the film’s titular senior (played by Nick Robinson) is sitting on a big gay secret, one that becomes quickly apparent to not be as dire to an outsider as it is to the introverted, sensitive Simon. He has liberal parents, open-hearted friends, and the school already has an out gay kid, for God’s sakes. A love story shouldn’t be so hard to fathom, especially these days.

And all that changes when an anonymous student, dubbing himself Blue, takes to the school’s blind item blog with the cutting words “nobody knows I’m gay.” Simon reaches out under his own alias, creating an oasis of support and affection between the two young men with a safety net of unrevealed identities.

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