A few quick notes before I get to the film I watched this last week.
Anyone see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug? Yea, me neither.
There has been some comments about the "hot dwarfs" meaning Kili and Fili, and I will say I would ride in a barrel with Fili (the blond one) without hesitation. Imagine my delight when I Goggled Dean O'Gorman and found he had done two LGBT films, When Love Comes way back in 1998 and the more recent Kawa.
When Love Comes: New Zealand filmmaker Garth Maxwell's drama chronicles the love lives of a group of people trying to make things work between each other. Past-her-prime singer Rena Owen, returning home from America to refocus her career and relationship with manager/lover Simon Westaway, stays with best friend Simon Prast, who's having romantic problems of his own with a younger man, Mark, played by Dean O'Gorman.
I recalled that I had seen When Love Comes and did not like it enough to buy it, which says something if Dean O'Gorman is paying a gay man and I still did not want repeated viewing.
I Netflixed it again a few weeks ago, and the DVD is widescreen, non-anamorphic, and the picture quality is about that of VHS. The film is not bad, but I did not like it based on the characters and it was the wrong kind of heartfelt made for the Lifetime channel feeling for me. Your millage may vary.
(NOTE: it is also out of print, but still currently available at Amazon.)
Here is what I found on the second Dean O'Gorman film.
Kawa: Based on a novel by the creator of The Whale Rider A critically-acclaimed psychological drama depicting a family in crisis, Kawa tells the story of a successful businessman in New Zealand, as he is forced to reveal his lifelong secret that he is gay. Adapted from the Witi Ihimaera novel Nights in the Gardens of Spain by writer/director Katie Wolfe, Kawa stars Calvin Tuteao (Once Were Warriors), Nathalie Bolt (District 9), George Henare (Once Were Warriors), Vicki Haughton (Whale Rider) and Dean O Gorman (The Hobbit). It is tradition that Kawariki (Calvin Tuteao) become the leader of the family now that his father is retiring. A husband and father, he realizes that in order to lead with integrity, he must come out and be honest about his own life, even though it will test the boundaries of acceptance and unconditional love. Offering valuable insights into Maori traditions, family ideals and cultural values, this feature debut is rich and textured with emotional layers and stunning New Zealand landscapes.
Link to the film's trailer: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=jo_gjJqqFPE
Kawa is now in my Netflix queue and I am cautiously optimistic, even though it is a *sigh* coming out film.
Over the December break, I also watched a series available on Blu-ray called
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (series one), which is set in 1920's Australia.
It reminds me of a more light-hearted, frothy version of Miss Marple only with an
unrepentant flapper in the title role that also has no qualms bedding some of the handsome men she encounters.
There are two episodes in series one that deal directly with LGBT characters.
For the show itself, I found the cast uniformly charming and I look forward to catching series two.
The cast also includes the delightful (and out) Miriam Margolyes.
The show is fun and while it does not break any new ground, I did not really expect it to.
I Netfilxed it and will buy when the price comes down a bit more. (I am sad that I did not pick it up when I saw it at Costco, but I don't readily buy programs without seeing them, even as fun as this looked from the cover.)
The following is a link to series one's trailer:
But the main point of today's post it to bring up Out in the Dark.
I rented this film on DVD via Netflix and promptly sent it back and ordered the DVD from Amazon.
This film, while superficially bearing some resemblance to The Bubble, another film set at the West Bank, I feel like this film got everything right that bothered my about The Bubble.
The following is a link to the film's trailer:
Here is the essence of the plot without spoilers:
Nimer, an ambitious Palestinian student in the West Bank, dreams of a better life. One fateful night in Tel Aviv, he meets Roy, an Israeli lawyer, and the two fall in love. As their relationship deepens, they are both confronted with the harsh realities of a Palestinian society that refuses to accept Nimer for his sexual identity, and an Israeli society that rejects him for his nationality. When Nimerʼs close friend is caught hiding illegally in Tel Aviv and sent back to the West Bank and a terrible fate, Nimer is forced to choose between the life he thought he wanted and his love for Roy.
While I felt moved and informed by The Bubble, with Out in The Dark, I cared about the characters first before having to address their respective Palestinian and Israeli cultures. I felt the leads had real chemistry and their characters each had flaws and blind spots that felt genuine. The supporting cast also did superb jobs in their respective roles.
The last third of the film does have an change in tone as the film becomes something of a chase film, but that is where the plot takes us as the outside world invades the lovers' burgeoning relationship. To quote Roy's father, "You cannot forget where we live."
With the DVD currently under $14.00 at Amazon, it was a no-brainer to pick it up.