THE WAY HE LOOKS
A review by Forum member PETER HERBERT October 2014
STAR RATING **** OUT OF 5
There may be a rather large back catalogue of films about sexual coming of age and melodramas about blindness but THE WAY HE LOOKS reveals itself as a new Brazilian film with something special to offer.
Leo is a totally blind high school age teenager who is the centre of the film which is entirely viewed from his outlook on life. Acted by Ghilherme Lobo with enough conviction as to be ambiguous that the actor may or may not be blind himself, THE WAY HE LOOKS is directed by Daniel Ribiero from the source of a short film I DONT WANT TO GO BACK ALONE made in 2010. It has touches of mood that are strong enough to evoke the sensory space of blindness which mark it an inspiring and exceptional film.
Ribeiro sensitively accentuates intense attention to details such as hands using keys to open gates and sounds that signal the closing of doors which are linked to a refreshing sense that little else about his everyday life is any different to others around him. With hints of homophobic bullying at school, exploring the limits of female friendship and family tension from an over protective mother the film gradually focuses on the discovery of his sexual identity with best friend Daniel. Although there may be other films about young men learning to cope with life , it is a measure of Ribeiro’s direction and Lobo’s performance that perceptive viewers care enough to question what sort of gay men both Leo and Daniel will become as they begin the next journey into adulthood.
The intended audience for THE WAY HE LOOKS may well be the generation of BELLE AND SEBASTIAN as used on the films soundtrack with particular reference to the ballad There’s too much love with which the film links the indie musicians post Smiths adolescent angst . In its own quiet way THE WAY HE LOOKS, like STRANGER BY THE LAKE is another film taking gay cinema into a far wider mainstream audience.
The Way He Looks is out on the 24th of October 2014 at Cinemas up and down the UK – check out this link for your local showing – http://www.peccapics.com/View/id,350
24th October 2014
Cert: 15 TBC
Tess Amorim, Fabio Audi, Ghilherme Lobo
Language: Portugese (with English Subtitles)