DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Beautiful Something

Director - Joseph Graham - 2016

"Mostly clean movie"
Four gay men in Philadelphia seek something profound and meaningful in their lives, but instead they are trapped in their empty existence without love and affection

Gay men are constantly seeking to reconcile sex, love and affection. The search is often full of misadventures, sadness, doubt and despair. Four gay men of different ages living in Philadelphia (in the United States) are no exception. Brian (Brian Sheppard) is an troubled poet who engages with multiple sex partners and often finds solace in the bottle. Drew (Colman Domingo) is an established sculptor frustrated that his younger boyfriend Jim (Zack Ryan) wants to move to a more promising New York. Meanwhile, Jim meets Bob (John Lescaut), a rich and ageing businessman driving around with his chauffeur in a limousine.

Beautiful Something is about gay men’s unrelenting search for ‘something big and profound’ (and perhaps indeed beautiful), and their inability to do so. Brian, Drew and Bob are heartbroken or sorrowful. All three are infatuated with Jim, who seems to yearn for something else, perhaps money and a glamorous career in New York. Ultimately, all four are deeply sad people. Soul-searching in sex, post-coital anger and regret are recurring themes throughout the movie, are reminders that – contrary to belief – gay relationships and sex are not always fulfilling and liberating. One character claims in the film that “love is a disease”, and seems that – by extension – so is sex.

The film also portrays obsession with wealth and fame. Bob is confidently boasting his vehicle and his success, and Jim looks indeed impressed by it. The size of the car is a perfectly acceptable substitute to the size of the penis.

American film director Joseph Graham created a film with a somber and elegant cinematography, representative of the dark feelings and experiences of its characters. Most of the dwellings have no windows, making the viewer feel trapped, just like the men in the movie. The subtle rock-electronic soundtrack is also effective. The acting is satisfactory, making the film mostly enjoyable to watch.

On the other hand, Beautiful Something has a lot of clichéd themes and devices. Gay sex is almost entirely reduced to penetration and hard pounding, with loads of saliva and no condom. The young actors are very conventionally good-looking, and do little to represent the gay world as a whole. There is nothing daring and new in the film, and yet it often feels self-conceited.

Most gay men will relate and perhaps even enjoy this film, but it has little appeal to other viewers, such as women and straight men. Beautiful Something was presented as part of the 30th BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival, which DMovies is covering live. You can find out more information by clicking here.

 



"Mostly clean movie"

By Victor Fraga - 20-03-2016

By Victor Fraga - 20-03-2016

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years of i...

DMovies Poll

Do/would you go to the cinema in order to watch documentaries?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

François Ozon probably doesn’t get much sleep. At [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Time flies by! DMovies was launched in February [Read More...]
American novelist Dennis Cooper’s cinematic debut feels like [Read More...]
It’s 2018, and neoliberalism is steadily morphing into [Read More...]
On the occasion of the UK release of [Read More...]

Read More

In the Crosswind (Risttuules)

Martti Helde
2017

Victor Fraga - 21-09-2017

The moving picture that doesn't move: superb Estonian film uses innovative tableaux vivants technique in order to portray the Stalin's forced removal of 40,000 Estonians to Siberia in 1941 - available now as part of the Walk this Way collection [Read More...]

On Body and Soul (Testről és lélekről)

Ildikó Enyedi
2017

Jeremy Clarke - 19-09-2017

See you in my dreams! Golden Bear winner is an oneiric romance set against the unlikely backdrop of an abattoir - out in cinemas this week [Read More...]

Five dirty picks from the Raindance Film Festival

 

Victor Fraga - 18-09-2017

Check out top five recommendations for the Raindance Film Festival, one of the largest showcases for independent cinema in the world, starting this week in London [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *