1985 Reviews

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
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.
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 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 5, 2018
What makes 1985 such a heartbreaking film is its refusal to contextualize Adrian's suffering against the ongoing AIDS epidemic.
October 26, 2018
1985 feels like a missing minor classic from the decade that preceded the rise of the so-called New Queer Cinema.
October 25, 2018
A moving cinematic sketch of a HIV-infected man living through the height of the plague.
October 23, 2018
This profoundly resonant, smartly understated black-and-white film greatly benefits from more than 30 years worth of sociosexual perspective that reminds us how much has changed, yet how much else has not.
October 21, 2018
The black and white of this film feels like an easy filter draped around the elements in the frame, hoping to grant them the gravitas that the elements themselves can't radiate.
June 28, 2018
All the performances are very good (though one might ask why no one has a regional accent), with stage-trained Smith providing a center of quiet intensity.
March 16, 2018
It is a haunting elegy for a generation of gay men.
March 16, 2018
This is a realistic, discreet, yet exploratory film that earns its tears honestly and scrupulously.
March 13, 2018
Yen Tan's miracle of a film masterfully sets a heartbreaking, small-scaled familial story against the massive backdrop of the AIDS crisis.
March 12, 2018
Anchored by a deeply felt central performance from Cory Michael Smith, the modest but affecting film should find a receptive niche with LGBT audiences.