Bruce leaves his girlfriend behind in Paris for an arts fellowship that will allow him to live and work in Rome. Staying at a villa that once belonged to the Medici and being allowed to ...
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A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream' to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.
Bruce leaves his girlfriend behind in Paris for an arts fellowship that will allow him to live and work in Rome. Staying at a villa that once belonged to the Medici and being allowed to write full time seems like a dream until he meets Matteo, a native of Rome who works at the villa. Daily exposure to renaissance art and ancient Roman statuary and the looks of desire that he thinks he recognizes in Matteo's eyes leads Bruce to question his own sexual orientation. Why does Matteo seem to enjoy falling asleep in Bruce's bed so often? And why is Matteo so attentive one minute and so distant the next? If Matteo is interested, why does he also seem so interested in Irene, the American girl? And if Bruce is straight why does he care so much?Written by
A brilliant and economically photographed character study. Other users have commented on plot, on this and that, whatever. Please note the gentle use of foreshadowing and diversion (or red herrings) throughout the film. I must see it again for this very reason. The obvious uses are the digitally filmed closeup shots in low-light of skin in Roman church art masterpieces leading up to the parallel shots of skin when the actors touch ... but note in particular the clenched hand on the sheet at the end of that scene, to be followed later by a montage of clenched hands on ancient statuary (interspersed with an angel) and the almost penultimate shot of a hand at the denouement .... Cinematic style, very specific choices of music, and such foreshadowing all enhance an intriguing character study of an individual descending into emotional turmoil with superbly subtle directorial style. The scene in the bar with the barmaid when Bruce explains love -- and the final scene alone are worth the price of admission for eloquently filmed and acted moments of understated emotion.
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