1985 Reviews

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April 4, 2020
Yen Tan embraces the quiet, and embraces the domesticity of central-American life, celebrating what makes an American family something worth aspiring for, while equally exploring the troubles that are inherent with that life.
June 23, 2019
Assuming you can go home again, the visit might not be the smoothest ride of your life. That sad concept resonates through Yen Tan's drama, set in the nightmare onset of AIDS.
May 15, 2019
...marked by beautiful black and white cinematography, quietly moving performances and a sustained mood of tenderness and terrible pain.
May 14, 2019
Tan stresses the tragic dimension of the story, but also its ordinariness. It's a tale of a boy and his family that could be played out in any American town, in 1985 or today.
May 4, 2019
A quiet, heartbreaking film that never overdoes the melodramatic trappings of its story.
April 25, 2019
All of the acting is very good, although some American commentators have remarked on the fact no one has a Texas accent. This won't matter much to an Australian audience.
April 25, 2019
...humbly pairs a desire for normalcy against a larger moment in history, with consequences that bleed into the personal.
April 25, 2019
What really distinguishes the film is that it gets deep inside this broken family without becoming histrionic or accusatory. Tan avoids any hint of sentimentality, concentrating on the pain instead.
April 23, 2019
A fantastic little gem of a film that succeeds due to its wonderfully nuanced performances, stellar filmmaking and the honest and genuine approach of its storytelling.
March 21, 2019
...a film with a quiet effective power.
February 14, 2019
The writer-director offers no easy solutions, relying instead on a stellar cast and nuanced responses.
December 23, 2018
Tan shoots stylishly in black and white 16mm, each frame a tasteful photograph. What's most skilful, though, is the way he succeeds in complicating archetypes.
December 21, 2018
The dark inky frames are full of shadows and dread. Yet the narrative, and Adrian's journey, is always leavened with quiet compassion.
December 21, 2018
A poignant footnote to a monumental crisis.
December 19, 2018
Writer-director Yen Tan, expanding a same-subject short film, takes his tale slowly, letting the drama breathe and the cast essay "being" rather than "acting".
December 17, 2018
A touching film that becomes both an emotional requiem for a lost generation of gay men and a heartfelt declaration that things could only get better.
December 13, 2018
[I] appreciate that Tan embraces complexity, flaws, and compassion when he could have ignored them for a bow-tied catharsis.
December 12, 2018
It's a beautifully acted film. In the dark days of the epidemic it would surely have been impossible to make a drama so balanced, so compassionately attuned to everyone's feelings.
December 12, 2018
An immaculately drawn drama
December 5, 2018
The lessons being taught in 1985 are admirable, the performances top-notch, and the filmmaking stellar.
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