The Way He Looks (2014)
Critic Consensus: Compassionate, emotionally detailed, and populated with resonant characters, The Way He Looks leaves a warmth that lingers.
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Critic Reviews for The Way He Looks
Brazilian writer-director Daniel Ribeiro displays an assured sense of tone in this debut feature, sustaining an air of fragile beauty but never once slipping into preciousness.
Ribeiro lacks a sense of dramatic construction, with the narrative stumbling about thoughtlessly, retracing the same ground over and over.
Brazilian gay coming-of-age tale, almost quaint in its old-fashioned sweetness and gentle dramatics.
A warm, smart and thoroughly delightful coming-of-age story.
"Admirable throughout is the balance that Ribeiro strikes between dewy eroticism and the contextualization of sexuality as just a single aspect of one's identity, albeit an essential one."
Audience Reviews for The Way He Looks
A delicate and tremendously sweet coming-of-age story that left me smiling the whole time thanks to its sensibility and adorable characters - and Ribeiro directs it with an impressive confidence, expanding the short film it is based on into a much more nuanced narrative.
I saw this at the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival. Expanded from young director Daniel Ribeiro's 2010 short I Don't Want to Go Back Alone. The three young Brazilian actors who star (Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi, and Tess Amorim) do not have a lot of acting experience. The whole film felt a little amateurish and soap opera-ish. The love story of two high school boys discovering their sexuality is sweet. Mix into this that the one young man Leonardo, played by Ghilherme Lobo, is blind and seeking independence in the world. The teens, parents, and teachers as written are all playing types instead of real, fully developed characters.
In what is perhaps one of the most sentimental coming-of-age films of the year, The Way He Looks is an artfully told Brazilian film that follows Leonardo, a blind boy dealing with the everyday struggles of life due to his disability. He is teased and ridiculed by others in his high school on a daily basis, and his best friend, Giovana, stands by his side every step of the way-physically and metaphorically. Yet, Leonardo yearns for independence. He longs to discover the world, and moreover, discover himself. His life slowly begins to change as he befriends a new student, Gabriel. The two instantly click and become extremely close friends, sparking jealously from Giovana and afflicted feeling from Leonardo as he attempts to make sense of his thoughts, experiences, and sexuality. The Way He Looks is a subtle yet magnificent tale about friendship, love, and hardship, and it is one that is flawlessly presented with sentimental and humanistic meaning.
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