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montreal LESBIAN GAY BI TRANS film festival

Holding the Man

Neil Armfield 2016 Australia 127min english

Australia’s answer to the coming-of-age breadth of C.R.A.Z.Y., this time-jumping true story about the 15-year relationship between Timothy Conigrave and John Caleo runs the gamut from slapstick to sweet, raucous to heart-shattering, growing in poignancy as the years melt away. Two boys that start as disparate individuals – John, a fearless jock, and Tim, a floppy-haired thespian who has trouble accessing the gravitas to weep over Juliet – become inseparable men who, together, confront prejudice and illness, learning all to well what it means to stare death in the face. Beginning in 1976 when being gay is synonymous with being “political,” the film follows the two men through their own political (and sexual) awakenings and the twists and turns of their love affair. Theatrical references provide a metaphorical backdrop to the painful reality of the AIDS epidemic, while high-wattage actors – including Guy Pearce and Anthony LaPaglia as Tim and John’s fathers, and Geoffrey Rush as a homophobic theatre teacher – lend their chops to this sprawling tale of humour, passion, and woe. – Michael Belcher

13.50 CAD