Friday, August 6, 2010
Family values done right: Ella Lemhagen's PATRIK, AGE 1.5 opens at Quad & NuArt
PATRIK, AGE 1.5 -- easily the best gay-themed movie since Brokeback Mountain (though not nearly as sad and dark) -- resides in how fully its writer/director Ella Lemhagen (shown below) takes her rather standard sit-com situation and brings it to wonderful, thorough life. Once you understand the premise here, though it takes about a third of the film to set it up, there will be no doubt about where the film is headed nor how things will work out. Yet, so interestingly and believably does Ms Lemhagen twist and turn the events within her story, that this outcome proves utterly satisfying. Here's a feel-good movie that earns every last bit of its good feeling.
Gustaf Skarsgård and Torkel Petersson, both exceedingly fine actors) who profess to want a child and are proceeding toward that end through the usual bureaucratic government maze (even in Sweden, this is standard, I guess). When said child arrives and the problems begin in earnest, instead of solving them all via one-on-one father/child confrontation/resolution, the movie take a different route. Progress is made more via the oddball community-at-large, with the boy Patrick (a smart, slow-to-show-feeling performance from Thomas Ljungman, pictured below, right, and two photos down) making use of his background to bond cautiously with those around him, and warming up but very slowly to his dads.
Michael Druker) alert to the psychology of these characters. Consequently there is not a situation or line of dialog that rings false -- quite an accomplishment for this genre of film.
Regent Releasing, opens today, Friday, August 6, in New York City at the Quad Cinema, and in Los Angeles at the NuArt.