★★★★ | Handsome Devil
One of the most buzzed-about films at London’s recent Flare LGBT Film Festival is getting released this Friday.
Handsome Devil played to sell-out crowds at the festival (though at one screening there was a power outage so all the attendees were invited back to another screening). Irish movie Handsome Devil is the charming story of an out and proud young gay man who is attending a boarding school for the first time. Fionn O’Shea plays Ned and shares a room with jock and star of the rugby team Conor (Nicholas Galitzine). The rest of the school doesn’t quite know what to make of Ned, he’s a bit of an outcast, yet he and Ned form a special bond, after a rocky start between them, they realise they have more in common with each other than being roommates. Ned’s school life is made much easier with the help of teacher Dan (Andrew Scott in a very winning and sexy performance), who also happens to be gay. But it doesn’t help Ned (and teacher Dan) that the rugby coach is on to both of them – he’s full of prejudice and lets everyone know it. And it’s just a matter of time until the rest of the school comes around and accepts Ned for who he is, especially just in time for the school’s big upcoming rugby match.
Writer and Director John Butler’s coming of age story is a winning combination of great performances and a story that’s time and tested and that never gets old. Winning lead performances from O’Shea and Galitzine make this one to remember, but it’s Scott as the supportive English teacher that will tingle your loins. His sympathetic teacher is handsome and oh so sexy, especially when he brings his boyfriend to the rugby match outing himself on the spot to the principal. More of these kinds of roles please Mr Scott. Though at times some of the accents are a bit hard to understand, Handsome Devil is very charming and memorable.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.