Leo's Room (2009) Poster

(2009)

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7/10
Great up to a point
Havan_IronOak1 May 2011
This movie quickly drew me in. Leo's a lovable character. Not only is he hot as portrayed by Martín Rodríguez, but he's a lot like the puppy that his ex-girlfriend gifts him. A bit clueless, and liable to ruin your rugs, if not your heart. He seems a sweet gentle caring guy but he's not yet clued-in to his homosexuality.

I think it's great that he finally starts to open up to his shrink but the ending left me wanting more. The road-trip seemed to come outta left field and it really doesn't bode well for his actually facing who and what he is. I think that the director realized that he had a lovable character but that the story hadn't progressed to the point where we could have a happy ending and that's what this movie really called for.

I felt that Caro's story could have been better interwoven into the whole if one wanted a more cohesive movie but as a gay man wanting to watch a gay-themed movie I'm just as glad that there wasn't too much screen time spent on those aspects.

I WOULD have liked to see more interaction between Leo and his brother and Leo and his mother. I felt that the stoner guy was really unnecessary except as a plot device to make Leo's take-home dates more awkward.

Definitely not a waste of time but still not quite mainstream quality fare.
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KNOCK...KNOCK.....Who's there?......
arizona-philm-phan29 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
....."It's Leo...and I want OUT!"

NOTES: My preferred Star-Rating would be Half-Star more (cause He's lovable) / This review based on earlier released European DVD version obtained through Amazon.com/UK

(( FULL DISCLOSURE----STOP at this point....IF what you're anticipating, sex scene-wise, is anything more than a few, tame love-making shots. BUT continue on....IF you can withstand a little trip back to a place so many of us, in our pasts, dwelt: A lonely...sad...emotionally draining place....that's called "THE CLOSET" ))

As your Trip Guide through this unpretentious little film, you'll follow along after the sweetest of guys, one who's named Leo Brasetti. Yes, he's as wonderful a young man as you could ever hope to meet / hook up with....IF he could only figure out Who and What he is (Some Guide, indeed!). Oh sure, he knows deep down, BUT the thing is there are just all these fears of discovery....and all these people he would be disappointing....and all these other excuses we, ourselves, used for our own inability to be "out and proud" (oh, you were different....well, Congrats to you!). Nevertheless, you're gonna meet him...follow him through some trials and tribulations...until, maybe, you begin to see a little glimmer of hope which will make the time you've spent together all worthwhile.

Now, to get back on track with this confused young man. Let's just say, again, that he's someone so choked up over trying to be the person he was born to be, his life has become a turmoil. YET, all around him...right there in plain sight...are people accepting of his being himself. Foremost is a marvelous mother, who point-blank tells him she just wants him "...to have someone of his own---no matter whether a girlfriend or boyfriend." And then there's that wonderful, old therapist of his, who is trying to pull it all out and into the open, as painlessly as possible. BUT our Leo is so tightly wrapped, their words don't seem to get through. It is SO bad that he even worries what his several years deceased father might think of him. So, now, who could blame any of you readers of this if you've begun to wonder: ...How can any but the best of actors convey this kind of emotional turmoil...how is this relatively new actor, with only one unknown film under his belt...gonna put it all across to me? Well, Viewers, I'm here to tell you that this Martín Rodríguez, this young Latino "hottie," will project Leo so vividly, so discomfortingly...yet so endearingly...that you'll want to enfold him in your own arms and ease his confusion. I know nothing of South America's pool of young male actors willing to portray a gay character, but I cannot imagine there could ever have been a better selection for doing it here than Martin. And no way can I see any other actor possessing his unconscious and quirky little way of sucking in / chewing on his lower lip during emotional and stressful times...it's just who Rodriguez is (yes, again, endearing). Then there's Gerardo Begérez, as Leo's wanna-be lover (Seba / Sebastien). He is first-rate...and a fine selection for putting across the playful protectiveness his character needs to project to us.

A Spin-off or side story (unfortunately taking up near half the film's running time) involves Leo's reconnection and interaction with a former primary schoolmate---Caro by name---along with some of her family members. In her, we're given an at times catatonic, depressed, young lady who, to my thinking, was likely thrown into the mix by Writer / Director Enrique Buchichio only to give us more insight into Leo's amazing empathy for others. I will leave further comment on Caro and her storyline to other reviewers of this film.

To end all this up, let me just acknowledge there may be some of you who ask why this small film would end with Leo deciding upon a little road trip, and even see it as more of his avoiding reality. However, I believe Director Buchichio is using it as a final little journey of self-discovery for our Leo. Showing us that all will turn out well (as any gay romantic would wish) and giving us a wonderful, final wide-screen shot of the car windshield and close-up of Leo's face (yes, you CAN see his thoughts), as it lights up in a small smile during the film's last split seconds. YES...that's right; Leo IS telling us something. And then you know....you just KNOW, in that very moment: He's decided to, at last, throw OPEN the door to "LEO'S ROOM."

****
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8/10
Sweet experience
jadsonrocha8 November 2010
I ran into this movie waiting for something from normal to good, but it turned out to be much more than that. In a nutshell, I would describe it as very sweet, simple and true. It is sweet because the ties (loving or friendship)are formed in a calm pace, slowly enough to be enjoyed. The central problem - the self-discovering process, is presented in a very simple way, which make the story seem natural and almost true, that's hard to find in the most part of gay-themed movies. If those are not convincing reasons to watch "El Cuarto de Leo" than don't forget how cute is Martín Rodríguez (Leo)and the Argentines' (and Uruguayans') charm; the soundtrack is awesome as well.

That's all. Enjoy it!
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Lose the girl!
jm1070115 December 2014
This could have been a fantastic movie if it had been about Leo instead of about Caro, the unbelievably boring, neurotic girl he latches onto so he can fix her instead of living his own life.

As others have said, Martín Rodríguez is absolutely adorable as Leo. A movie about Leo, the equally adorable Seba (Gerardo Begérez), who bends over backwards (metaphorically) to be Leo's boyfriend, Leo's fascinating but barely seen brother, and Leo's wonderful psychotherapist would have been amazing. I even liked Leo's stoner roommate. But the writer-director chose to waste 80% of his film stock by focusing almost entirely on stupid, tiresome Caro instead, which was mind-numbingly dumb.

What a wasted opportunity! Two stars for the 20% of this movie that is NOT about Caro.
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6/10
Loved it till the last 20 minutes
boblbee21 September 2016
The choice that Leo seemed to make at the end made no sense based on the first hour of the movie. I think the writer did not want to offend the movie critics or general public, but as a gay man, this never would have happened. Disappointed in the simplistic ending. So what was the point of the psychiatrist then? The beginning of the film does not match at all with the end. He is right back where he started and in the future will be having the same feelings and behaviors he was hiding from. You just cant turn off your sexuality that simply. It is too bad since the movie held me closely until near the end then seemed corny. I felt like I had wasted my time.
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6/10
Interesting but half baked
davidtraversa-131 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
They say that avocados are an acquire taste, the same we can say about this type of movies. The slow timing, the great length of the scenes with a lot of silences, very scarce dialog, the favorite way to make movies by Ingmar Bergman, by Antonioni... you really have to accept those premises if you decide to watch this film.

It has a great deal of excellence thanks to everybody involved in it, since obviously they filmed it with a very restricted budget. It seems the lighting they used was the natural ambiance light and if the scene came out too dark, too bad, no way they would re shoot it, but exactly those no-no's (for a Hollywood production) helped in this case to get the necessary atmosphere to develop the story with great intimacy and naturalness. It was filmed, practically, as a documentary.

All the actors were true professionals, save, maybe, the mother of the protagonist, that for some reason gave a wrong feeling to her phrasing, almost as if she was reading the lines.

I truly believe that this movie could benefit enormously if they take it back to the editing room and cut about half an hour, because some of the scenes are unnecessarily too long for no reason whatsoever.

*****Spoilers ahead *****

I have the feeling at the conclusion of the story, that the director --or the producer or whoever decided about the ending-- panicked with the idea that the protagonist would end up being homosexual and happy as such, so they decided all of a sudden, after all that inner torture and knuckle biting throughout the whole movie, that, after all, our guy happened to be heterosexual (bisexual?) but since the ending is left totally open we'll never know what his true sexual orientation was.
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Pretentious, tedious, boring movie
SexyActorsJunkie16 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I watched it because I wanted to watch the handsome actor who plays Leo and see what the movie was about. I stuck with the movie because I kept waiting for something interesting to happen and Leo is cute (but his lover Seba was even cuter than him, although skeevy.) Leo's character as it turns out is so annoyingly vague and directionless that it detracts from the whole movie and from his own attractiveness. Additionally, this movie is too drawn out and tedious. It spends way too much time with cameras lingering uncomfortably and pointlessly on the actors' faces which, although pretty, are often bland and unexpressive. We're supposed to be reading their thoughts I guess? But it doesn't happen because they ruminate but don't emote. The ending was somehow predictable yet quite unsatisfying and too open ended for me. If I had to watch these annoying characters try to figure out their lives all that time, the least the ending could have provided was some kind of definitive resolution for one of them. Caro seems healed, and so Leo takes a road trip but who cares? Does he ever get back with Seba? Does he ever explain to Caro why he can't reciprocate her feelings for him? Does he ever tell anybody that he's gay or bisexual? Yawn. I would only sit through this again if I wanted to look at Leo's and Seba's faces but more than likely, it will never happen because I would just fall asleep in 10 minutes upon re-watch.
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7/10
80% brilliant, 20% confused
Like other reviewers I was really sucked in and thoroughly enjoyed the first 80% or more, but then it seemed to lose itself slightly.

I don't want to spoil it for anyone so I won't go into detail. It is just a shame the director couldn't have continued with the same attention to detail and intrigue that was so evident in the first hour or so of the movie.

I would have to disagree with other reviewers regarding Caro. Some felt she was totally unnecessary, but for me she was essential to the story. At the point she entered the story there was a similarity between Leo and her, i.e. they both had unresolved issues. This for me added an extra dimension to the movie, which meant it transcended the usual coming of age / coming out of the closet flick.

Where I would agree, as far as Caro is concerned, is that this story arc was not resolved in a way that made it as integral to the overall protagonist's journey as it could have been.

To be honest, had I rated it after 85% I would probably have given it a 9, but the last 15% just didn't do it for me. Maybe after a few days reflection I might feel differently.

All of that said, I would still recommend it as there is so much to like about and so many interesting characters.
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6/10
Rotten ending ruins it all
BILLYBOY-1029 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This was a pretty good flick about a conflicted 20 something young man who is terrified that people will find out he likes men. OMG. So he plays around at being straight then tries a gay encounter that ends bad, then meets the worst piece pf a downer in the history of film. But he sees his chance to be straight while he is being gay, or not. The poor guy is a mess but finally comes out to his shrink who thinks its no big deal. In the meantime he has a landlord who is about the same age who is very interesting and makes for a highlight of the film, but then back to Caro, the manic depressive and he dismisses Saba, the great guy he had an nice affair with. Then he goes on a road trip and the camera is on him for a long time and the movie ends. WTF?
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10/10
Brilliant & Riveting
donwc19969 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is an absolutely first rate film from beginning to end. It grabs you and never lets go. You become completely wrapped up in the story and the characters and you really care about what happens to them and what is happening in general. The cast is perfect and probably the biggest secret to film success is successful casting and this film has it in spades. The ending, which apparently some here do not care for is carefully worked out if you pay attention to the clues that crop up on the way to the ending. There are definite signs in the road that lead you to only one conclusion which will in the end make everyone happy. I won't give it away because that would be a spoiler but one thing I will say is that I was shocked this gem of a film came from a Latin American country so remote I didn't even know it existed, but that's what makes film so exciting because even the least known places on the planet can make a name for themselves in the international film market and this film definitely does that.
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