NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Rogerebert.com (Matt Fagerholm).
One of the most celebrated films of 2022 was Lukas Dhont’s Cannes prize-winner, “Close,” which affirms the Belgian filmmaker’s status as one of the most gifted directors of children since Spielberg. In a performance that is the equal of any nominated for Best Actor this year, newcomer Eden Dambrine plays Léo, a boy whose extremely tight knit bond with pal Rémi (a wrenching Gustav De Waele) cause their peers to start questioning the boys’ sexuality. Suddenly wracked with unease, Léo begins to push away Rémi, and as far as plot synopses go, I should stop there. What I will say is that Dambrine and De Waele give two of the best child performances in all of cinema, while Léa Drucker and Émilie Dequenne (the star of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s great 1999 Palme d’Or winner, “Rosetta”) are equally compelling as their respective mothers. This is such a perceptive film about the minds, hearts and souls of sensitive young people that it unearthed memories of mine I had long forgotten.
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