Watercolors (2008) Poster

(2008)

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17 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Excellent
jm1070122 October 2010
For about the first twenty minutes I thought I was going to hate this movie, but it got better. Then it got better. Then it got even better, and it just kept on getting better all the way through to the end.

I strongly disagree with reviewers who say the adult bookends are irrelevant and badly done. They provide an essential framework for the story. The adult actors are neither as attractive nor as talented as the younger leads are, but that's fine; they don't need to be.

My only quibble - and it is a very minor quibble - is that the character of Henry is just too evil within the context of this movie. I know people like that exist, people who are so mean and so stupid that they would keep on smirking when the hero is having convulsions, but no other character in this movie is drawn with such unrelenting severity. He is so evil he ends up dragging the whole movie down in a way it doesn't need to be dragged down. I suppose his being so excessively monstrous adds extra weight to Danny's accusation that Carter hurt him even more than Henry did, but that accusation didn't need such heavy-handed reinforcement; it was powerful enough in itself.

The direction, photography and screenplay could not be much better - an impressive debut for David Oliveras. All the performances are outstanding, particularly Tye Olson and Kyle Clare as Danny and Carter and Casey Kramer as Danny's mother. To paraphrase at least one other reviewer, she is the mother every gay man on earth dreams of. This is a lovely, believable, extremely well done movie.
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10/10
Sensational gay coming-of-age movie
boib8inla10 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those rare movies that stays with me for hours or days after, a "must see" that I know after only one viewing that I will return to again and again.

On the whole it is simply sensational, in plot, acting, direction etc. It is beautifully photographed (including some incredible underwater scenes).

The title puzzled me a bit until I realized it captured the key interest of both of the main characters: Danny, the artist, and Carter, the swimmer ("water" colors, get it?).

Occasionally one has to suspend disbelief but such moments are far outweighed by the overall impact. Example: the scene where it rains inside the living room, but the effect of that rain is to give the scene a surreal or magical quality that helps us feel what the characters themselves are feeling.

The ending is ambiguous rather than your standard happy ending but strangely "right".

In places the sound was a bit odd, e.g. a scene where Carter's skate board almost drowns out the conversation, and it was hard to hear the first few words of the scene where Danny's mom is talking to him on a bench at the beach in long shot (as soon as we came in close the sound returns to normal...I think this is a post-production error). But such fleeting flaws were not enough for me to reduce my score on the movie overall.

It's awards are well earned and this movie should be a 'must see' for anyone with an interest in gay cinema.
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10/10
One of the best gay themed movies ever !!!
Michaelckdk1 June 2010
This is a phenomenal and beautifully shot film about young gay romance. It is a gripping, dramatic, and moving portrayal of discovery and new love. I mean everything was utterly amazing: from the actors' performances (especially the Danny character), to the cinematography and even the haunting score playing all throughout. The movie is longer than most (almost 2 hours) but you honestly don't feel it because the story is so captivating and engaging. This is by far one of the best films ever made in this genre of gay themed dramas. There are scenes depicting sexuality with the unbelievably beautiful body of the swimmer character, but they are done tastefully and shot with an entrancing artistry. If there were Oscars for in-dies like this, I'd award it all the top honors. Highly recommended to the point I will compare all future films of the genre to this one! Truly a gay classic with an above average production value !
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9/10
Wow, Beautiful.
Pip  8 December 2009
Boy, am I glad I was able to see this movie.

The movie is about a young gay artist haunted by a tragedy during high-school. I won't go very deep about the story, but basically he fell in love with another boy during high-school and it didn't go very well. And believe me, not by the most common reasons. The story is really beautiful. Not having many characters, you get to know the 2 main characters very well and on the "crucial" moments it really gets into your heart. Except for Carter's coach, this movie has fabulous, gorgeous, amazing acting. You see the expression of anger in Darrien's face, when's angry, the heart-felt tears, when he cries, and the sensitive smile when his with either his mother, his best-friend and of course, Carter.

Plot: 8/10 - The reason why they met (and why carter lives with Darrien for a few month) isn't very «believable» but a beautiful romance develops as the movie goes on and grows on you.

Acting: 9.5/10 - Excellent actors. Well done.

Flaws: You never get to understand what are Darrien's mother and carter's father to each other. The movie is not very clear in terms of time. It seems as if only a few days have passed during the whole movie, but almost one year passed. (I think)

Personal Desire: I wish they could have developed a little more the relationship between Darrien and his mother. They could have made some touching scenes, since they were both great actors.

I'm glad it's not underrated, but having only 17 votes.... I suppose... not many people have seen it? Well, those people don't know what they're missing.
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7/10
Artist is haunted by high school relationship
JetBoy29 May 2009
"Watercolors" played at San Diego's FilmOut today. I have to say, when we read the synopsis in the FilmOut guide, and watched the trailer, we both thought this was going to be just dreadful. We weren't sure we wanted to even sit through it. I'm so glad we did -- it would be a mistake to miss -- to our amazement, this is a terrific film! First-rate acting all around, with special note to the dad's demonic smoking, the art teacher's facial expressions, the mother's nuanced looks. The writing, while melodramatic, is well-done. Nice cinematography, with cool underwater shots of the swimmers, long shots of outdoor scenes, and so forth. The casting, for the most part, fit nicely, especially Tye as Danny. It was fun seeing Greg Louganis as the coach, although I think it would be have been terrific to cast him as the anti-swimming father.

I especially liked the relationship between Danny and his mother. Very funny, touching, warm. The dad character could use more depth, but the mannerisms were nicely done. Tye as Danny looked so small and vulnerable (he's taller in real life, as we saw during the cast Q&A) and had such a perfect geek haircut.

This really didn't feel like a "film festival film", although it could do with a bit more editing to tighten up some of the scenes and cut the running time by 10 or 30 minutes.
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8/10
very moving gay drama
dalek691 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
i was very moved by this film, it is tragic but with a hopeful ending as well. i felt the performances were very believable, the tender, sensitive Danny, (GREAT acting!) , the troubled, messed up carter, Danny's mother was great. as opposites attract, i liked the two opposites coming together, later on you just knew it was going to go wrong... carter's anger/feelings were heartbreaking, but from his point of view more or less understandable.

some flaws: it was a bit unclear why *exactly* carter came to stay with Danny. a bit of a shady/forced explanation. and we never found out the reason for or manner in which carter died. but it was tragic. I liked the way the movie ended though, a positive note, ***Spoiler*** with Danny finally patching up his not so easy going new relationship with new boyfriend in the end. he had to let go of (dead ) carter in the end.

yes, i think this is a believable gay drama and again , very touching. well done.
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7/10
Sensitive portrayal of frustrated love
Richard von Lust16 October 2010
OK so this is not going to grab any Oscars but I thought it nonetheless a very credible view of romance between two young men at high school.

Gay art student Danny is forced to share a room at home with Carter, a hunky swimming major who lodges there during difficulties at his own home. Carter needs help with his literature classes and Danny provides it in exchange for life drawing modeling.

A love develops that is fully realized and expressed by Danny but utterly denied by Carter who cannot even bring himself to be seen at school with his lover. The results are examined with sensitive dialog and quite acceptable acting. The love making scene in the rain is a triumph of art direction that would make many heterosexual movies appear vulgar. Tye Olson is excellent as Danny. Well worth a try.
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6/10
WATER Marks
NJMoon29 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This film is better than most of it's ilk but only gets about halfway there. For every unexpectedly clever line, there's a cliché. For every great performance, there's a dud. Karen Black as the art teacher reminded me of Catherine O'Hara in any Chris Guest movie. Greg Louganis makes an appearance that makes us glad he chose swimming, instead of acting. But who better to play the swim coach of a gay swimmer? The swimmer resembles a young, long-haired Sean Penn. The other is just as attractive, but has been given ugly eyeglasses and an unfashionable hairstyle to make him into the classic geek. Romeo and Juliet figures prominently, so be warned. Uneven, but still - a very watchable flick, with two likable, attractive young men in the leads.
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9/10
Absolutely Amazing....
sammie-hartman8 January 2011
This is an extremely rare gem.

The story is so well done. Building our interest and feelings for the characters involved. Tye Olson is an amazing up an comer. He plays this role as someone who understands through experience what the character is feeling and how the character would truly be. Kyle Clare has immersed himself in his character as well.

There is so much I want to say about this film...but rather than tell you what is great about it, I would encourage you to watch, see and feel all the raw and touching emotion yourself.

This is a must see.
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10/10
Meryl Streep is NOT in this movie.
RitchCS20 May 2010
I haven't seen this movie, but the DVD is due to arrive in the mail tomorrow. I logged onto IMDb to see what other viewers had to say. Don't EVER question why there are very few gay movies made. Every old queen and every too young adventurer always become superior critics. This is a gay movie. It does not star Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro, or Sean Penn. Gays movies cannot accumulate large budgets and do the best they can with the material and cast they can find to work for free or pennies. I remember the first big studio gay movie, "Making Love" with Harry Hamlin, Michael Ontkean, and Kate Jackson, directed by Arthur Hiller. This movie was blasted bigger than Nagasaki. It all but ended Hamlin's and Ontkean's careers. It took a quarter of a century to get the venomous taste out of the critics mouths before "Brokeback Mountain" was finally accepted. BUT, how many major gay films have been made since? The most popular gay novel in the world, "The Front Runner" has been sitting on some studios shelf for nearly half a century. Everyone is afraid of either making it or starring in it. Hats off to the producer of "Watercolors" for putting forth the effort. It did win two major LBGT film festival awards. BUT as another reviewer stated, the cast was excellent except for the coach. MAN! He's the reason I'm seeing the movie. Greg Louganis, not only an Olympic Champion, but a drama major. Why was his acting singled out? Couldn't that sentence have been omitted? Why must we as gays, destroy our own culture...music, theatre, movies??? Can't we EVER find words of praise to encourage MORE gay entertainment? Remember the old adage, "If you can't find something good to say...". I'm really looking forward to enjoying this movie tomorrow. ______________________________ addendum: I finally saw the movie this afternoon and it's haunted me the rest of the evening. One of the two leads has practically no experience at all, yet he sustained his character as a professional. I really found nothing to criticize...only words of praise and hope that this will be the first of many features by the director. The entire cast was superb. Music was expertly used. I don't watch gay porn, but I do collect gay films with good stories...THIS is one of the best. It ranks high with "Latter Days" and "Shelter". Ten Stars!
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