CLOSE TO YOU
DOMINIC SAVAGE | CANADA + UNITED KINGDOM | 2023 | 100 MIN | ENGLISH
BAFTA-winning writer-director Dominic Savage and co-writer Elliot Page offer a raw, romantic portrayal of the lived experience of transness that is a testament to what Canadian film can achieve. Approached naturalistically, fraught family dynamics are juxtaposed with the fragile beauty of maybe-not-lost love.
Recent literary sensation Elliot Page plays Sam, who we meet in his Kensington Market apartment, ripped body immaculate, but face anguished. His contented life with a surrogate “mom” (Sook-Yin Lee) is interrupted by a ViaRail trip to see his biological family in quaint Coburg. On the way, he reunites with an old friend (Hillary Baack) and their chemistry is undeniable—underscored by clever match cuts throughout. Thrown by his intense feelings and her married status, Sam must then endure the enforced happiness of his father’s birthday party. It has been four years since Sam has dealt with his family’s mix of suburban judgement and vigilant care, and as the pressure mounts, their brittle acceptance is strained. Close to You is a stellar, empathetic portrait of a normal (i.e. infinitely complex) family working at understanding and one transman’s refusal to be treated as anything less than human.
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