a film by Lloyd Eyre-Morgan.
2013 | 107 mins | UK.
principal players: Janet Bamford / Dawn, Olivia Sweeney / Nicola, Daniel Booth / Josh, Jody Latham / Barnsey, Coby Hamilton / Chrissy, Joe Watts / Mikey, Josh Croft / Ryan, James Devlin / Dave, Neil Ely / Jonno and with Michael Ross as Dawn's Father.
Adapted Synopsis: "Vulnerable and unable to articulate their worries, troubled teenagers Josh and Nicola struggle with their mother's mental instability, whilst equally trying to forge relationships outside of the family unit. Only as their mother's sessions of regression therapy continue to take a heavy toll, will their love for her prove unconditional or have they reached their breaking point?"
Set for the main part on an estate that wouldn't be out of place in Shameless and cue Jody Latham doing a loutish reprise of his Shameless character Lip Gallagher, here writer and director Lloyd Eyre-Morgan of Dream On fame has once again triumphed in delivering an emotional feature that wonderfully juxtaposes shades of comical light, with the dramatic darkness of its central theme.
It is a multi-faceted title piece that is played with zeal by its cast of largely fresh faces, fine performances that seamlessly blend in with those, leads Janet Bamford and Daniel Booth included, who starred in the theatrical production upon which it is based. Indeed and whilst Olivia Sweeney is on splendid form as sassy sister Nicola, it is Daniel Booth as her brother and avid video blogger Josh who charms the boys, given his homosexual orientation is all but apparent from day one thanks to some X-rated internet surfing, as he compensates for his unrequited love for his straight best friend and filmmaking partner Mikey and here cue a sensuous fantasy sequence with Joe Watts, with an online hook-up that sees America calling, courtesy of an out and proud performance from Josh Croft as California cutie Ryan.
Dream Boy in Celluloid.
Yet in a film in which the end credit footage truly concludes the story and yes, there's a rainbow coloured twist in the tale, that is if you didn't see it coming, LEM keeps his narrative grounded thanks to the solid work of Janet Bamford as the mother of the piece. Previously seen in LEM's Dream On, here Bamford excels in the role of a woman on the verge of a mental breakdown; her Jekyll and Hyde-like personality causing friction on the home front, as the alarming issue of child molestation takes to the spotlight, along the way unleashing a series of emotional scars that she has still to come to terms with under the supervision of her somewhat creepy therapist. Only are such recollections fact or fiction? That of painful memories long suppressed or and as many think, the product of false memory syndrome?
Fact or fiction in Celluloid.
Intercut with an ever so sweet video montage of the lover boys in London, backed by a delightful turn from Coby Hamilton in the role of Nicola's not so worldly wise best friend Chrissy and acutely charting a young man's tentative steps into the world of same-sex relationships, this psychological feature frankly has a lot going for it. And whilst shades of its stage origin remain, this is not a criticism, given here Lloyd Eyre-Morgan continues to impress, his dialogue beautifully merging drama with comedy and his filmmaking played with an ever so realistic feel to it. All of which makes for a powerful and touching coming out work. For that is the bottom line here, given gay cinema has a new voice, one that and alongside the likes of Rikki Beadle-Blair, Darren Flaxstone / Christian Martin and Simon Savory, to name but a few, are keeping it provocatively fresh and vibrant. Oh and I kind of like the name of the film too. But then, I would - naturally.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the erect monty / photos.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.