Damien lives with his mother Marianne, a doctor, while his father is on a tour of duty abroad. He is bullied by Thomas, whose mother is ill. The boys find themselves living together when Marianne invites Thomas to come and stay with them.
Generally absent French army rescue helicopter pilot Nathan Delille's teen son Damien Delille is the model student in his Alpine village school. He takes self-defense lessons from veteran neighbor Paolo, needed as non-provoking victim of class bully Thomas Chardoul, doting adopted son of petty cattle farmers Jacques and Christine Chardoul. Unaware and questioning that Damien is the innocent party when the principal, who guessed right, thus punishes both as fighters, his mother, local Dr. Marianne Delille, takes Thomas in after diagnosing his mother pregnant. The boys are forced to play friends, fight in secret, yet bond over confidences as closet gay Damien's grades slip due to a crush on Tom, who takes over a class champion thanks to home tutoring. They are separated as their now irrelevant fights come out, yet reunite intimately after a family tragedy.Written by
This movie is the best-directed contemporary gay love story I've ever seen. It doesn't over- dramatize the stigma that all gay youth deal with when coming out to themselves and others, but it doesn't pretend such stigma isn't important. It presents attraction and love and friendship and family and desire as the complexly interwoven mess that it always is, but is so rarely seen in media. It shows love as not the solution to all your problems, but also that it doesn't have to be tragic. It portrays traditional families charitably, alongside gayness - they don't have to be natural enemies, but they have different dynamics which are usually either ignored or treated one-dimensionally. Most importantly, this film describes coming out as it really is: a profoundly individual act, and usually played out non- tendentiously and in a narrative completely unique to that individual. Most coming out films I've seen swerve into clichés and predictable outcomes. Although this film's plot resolution is fairly conventional, somehow the characters' authenticity, uniqueness and vulnerability fulfilled the story in a deeply touching, yet unsentimental way. Bravo.
If you're not gay, you might think this movie is nothing special, the way some straight people I know thought Brokeback Mountain was tripe, not paying any attention to the repression central to that story. The moving qualities in this film are mostly a coming-out thing, so perhaps straight people won't relate, but there are glimmers here (and in our times) of that narrative holding enough substance to speak to universal truths.
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