Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

MIA: Cloudburst - its terrific

CLOUDBURST, 2011. A lesbian couple escape from their nursing home and head up to Canada to get married. Along the way, they pick up a young, male hitchhiker. This, a hilarious love story and a touching comedy, never played here in London (apart from opening that year’s gay film festival). It features two old age lesbians who go on the run to Canada when the selfish grand-daughter of Dotty tries to put her in a nursing home (after she has an accident falling out of bed due to Stella tickling her). Stella, her partner of 31 years is not having that, so hatches their escape plan. Along the way they pick up a hitchhiker, dancer/hustler Ryan Doucette (a new discovery, he is terrific). 
It is an uplifting story of love that is universal and eternal, with great locations - I could move to Nova Scotia. Olympia (whom I enjoyed again last week in AWAY FROM HER) is a joy in vests, cowboy hats, drinking tequila and swearing like a sailor (or as we imagine sailors swear ..) and driving that red pickup truck. Brenda Fricker as sweet Dot is her equal, Dot is virtually blind but that does not bother her. OK, you will laugh, you will cry, as of course nothing is forever. There is a great comic sequence at the Canadian border, and the grand-daughter too learns a lot. This is one movie where you worry about the characters and what they will do now the movie is over ... Good too to see a movie addressing the needs of the gay elderly who are often separated when illness intervenes; not all gay themed indie movies have to be about attractive young people, do they? It reminded me a lot of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, not least with its pick-up trucks and stunning landscapes, and a bittersweet ending. Directed and written by Thom Fitzgerald, who also did the interesting BEEFCAKE in 1998. 
This could well be my new favourite movie, as it is full of tender and funny moments. Indie movie-making at its best then, I have also now pre-ordered BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR, out on dvd here in 2 weeks, that’s 3 more hours of girl on girl action then, but from all accounts, contains the real best acting of the year …and that intriguing STRANGER BY THE LAKE is out in May. Bring them on.  
Fricker and Doucette with director Fitzergald at the London BFI LGFF premiere in 2012.

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