The Way He Looks

92 minutes 2014

Brazilian writer-director Daniel Ribeiro displays an assured sense of tone in this debut feature, sustaining an air of fragile beauty but never once slipping into preciousness. His achievement is more impressive given that the premise—a blind teenager comes to realize he's gay—all but promises a maudlin exercise in political correctness. Ribeiro emphasizes the boy’s shyness and longing for independence, feelings that are central to practically everyone's experience of adolescence. The film gives a good idea of what it's like to be blind (Ribeiro often shoots in shallow focus, so one is never certain of what lies beyond the boy's immediate vicinity), yet it establishes such a warm intimacy with the hero that he never seems defined by his disability. In Portuguese with subtitles.

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The Way He Looks

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