Sunday, February 5, 2017

VOD/DVDebut: Michal Vinik's Israeli, lesbian, coming-of-age movie, BLUSH, is here

Garnering some note -- and some awards -- on the festival circuit, the 2015 film about a 17-year-old Israeli student and her increasing crush on the "new girl in school" -- BLUSH -- is at last available here in the USA via Film Movement. This first full-length film written and directed by Michal Vinik, shown below, has a number of good things going for it, though the casting of its two lead actresses is problematic. Trust-Movies understands that high-school kids today can look older than those of the decade when he went to school. But when the girls in question look like they're approaching 30, suspension of disbelief grows a tad more difficult.

I also realize that hi-def video can add years to appearance -- every wrinkle and shadow gets magnified -- but asking us to buy into "17" proves a little much. Otherwise, the two performers (Sivan Noam Simon, above and below, left, and Jade Sakori, above and below, right) are perfectly acceptable actresses, each possessing her own kind of charisma: Ms Simon's quietly low-burning and Ms Sakori's more high-powered and obvious. Our low-key girl comes from a family of five: a dumb-ass dad, the more astute mom, and two siblings, one of whom is an older sister who's in the army but now seems to have disappeared.

There's not a lot of incident in the movie, and what there is seems fairly standard for this genre. The girls meet, and the more naive one, whom is presumably straight (we see her go off for sex with one young man), is soon head-over heels for her new blond bombshell.

Once the two get together their sex scene proves both hot and sweet, but soon enough, our little blond's past catches up with her -- in the form of an older woman known as Dracula. (Not to worry: it's just a moniker, and there's no neck biting here -- at least not for blood.)

Eventually first love turn into lost love and our girl grows up a bit. But that's coming-of-age, right? It's good that Ms Vinik included her sub-plot about that missing older sister, for this helps the movie reach its full length without losing us entirely to cliché.

One earlier reviewer has noted that this movie "bleeds cool." It may indeed, but "cool" goes only so far. Depth is nice, too. And while there is some of that here, a bit more -- along with more interesting specificity (we learn damned little about the character played by Ms Sakori, except of course that she bleeds cool) -- would have been better.

Blush, in Hebrew with English subtitles and running 85 minutes, will hit the street on DVD this coming Tuesday, February 7. It has also been available via VOD since last month. As of February 7, Film Movement members and non-members alike will be able to stream it at a nominal charge.
Click here for more info.

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