Opening film of the Queer Screen, Sydney’s LGBTI movie week, and the audience had a mixed reaction, most people enjoying it, but not a lot of enthusiasm, a wrinkled nose (indicating displeasure) and one pal who thought it ‘shouldn’t have been made’, it was so terrible.
I was struck by how quiet and honest Williams’s performance was, the last that the world will see: a meek 60 year-old loan officer, in a stilted marriage of separate beds, who falls for a young hustler (also well acted) and hangs out with his best friend (‘Just Call Saul’ from Breaking Bad). The film was slow, felt low-budget and had the trope of atmospheric, lightly creepy music, while the story unfolded (with all the night scenes and driving, I kind of felt I was in another version of the film ‘Nightcrawler’ with Jake Gyllenhaal). It was hard not to draw a parallel with Williams’s own life, as the character struggled to show a happy face to the world but was burdened (in real life with depression and was the story Alzheimer’s?; in the movie with not acting on his sexuality for his whole life).
Strange then that after the end of such honesty that the film goes maudlin, ties the story up neatly and gives happy possibilities to its characters. I felt some relief, I have to admit, after such slow-burning misery, but I’m not sure if it was the right artistic choice.