DORIAN BLUES (Tennyson Bardwell, U.S.). 83 minutes. Monday (May 23), 7:30 pm. Isabel Bader. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Sharp writing and a fresh, deadpan performance by lead Michael McMillian elevate this coming-out film by first-time director Tennyson Bardwell . Self-effacing, bookish Dorian knows he's not like the other high school boys, but isn't sure why. His journey to self-acceptance includes encounters with a female hooker who can mimic Billie Holiday and a bizarre, perma-smiling queer boy at school. But there's still his family (popular football-star brother, conservative dad, distracted mom) to contend with.
The script wanders at times, and the end comes way too abruptly. But the film's wry, knowing tone is refreshing, and McMillian's a find.
Inside out festival reviews The new queer crop INSIDE OUT TORONTO LESBIAN AND GAY FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL at various locations from today (Thursday, May 19) to May 29. $7.50-$10.75, galas $21.50-$26.75. 416-967-1528, www.insideout.ca. For complete schedule, see Indie & Rep Film, page 126.