I have a lot of patience for this set of cliches, achingly choreographed and anchored by the lead's performance. It got me thinking about autonomy and heteronomy: how much is this boy responsible for his actions, under the stress of grief, repression, and malignant friendships? You want neither to absolve him, nor blame him. Written in his face is the impossibility of measuring the responsibility of another.
Digital. Queer Lisboa. It's clear that it's a film limited by its indecisions, whose best example is the end - everything is going around without evolving. Yet, the original 16mm gives it a granularity that goes well with the bodies and the spaces and, in that sense , brings to memory one of the films that in recent cinema better knew how to contextualize bodies and spaces by a camera's look: Ira Sach's "The Delta".
In regards to Eliza Hittman, I feel this succeeds in many areas that "It Felt Like Love" fell flat. While it still has some the focus and plot issues of her earlier work, it's nonetheless a deeper and more thoughtful work with a more thoroughly-examined protagonist. Her non-judgmental approach is also better suited here, making the audience ponder issues of self-identity and our need for social acceptance.
Besides shooting on 16mm, I can't say I love anything about this film. Hittman seems content to let the subject matter do most the speaking for her rather than adding anything cinematically. It's a cold, shallow movie that checks off a bunch of boxes in today's progressive ideology (a female director, queer subject matter, toxic masculinity, victim) so I guess it gets a pass. There's nothing here you haven't seen.