‘Love Simon’ (2018)

Love Simon (2018)

The Film I Wish I Had Growing Up

For much of history there as been an implied belief that each generation will have a better quality of life than the preceding one. Today statically younger people are on track to be poorer and more economically insecure than their parents’ generation. In our dark geo-political time when things can seem so much worse today than in previous decades, pop culture is full of nostalgic references to the 80s, 90s and now even the early 2000s.

Amidst this grim climate ‘Love Simon’ stands as a singular anomaly to this trend representing the good news story of the decade: that there has never been a better time in history to be a young LGBTQI person. ‘Love Simon’ is the film I wish I had growing up as a shy gay boy, looking for every bit of random gay representation usually in the form of the 90’s gay-best friend/side kick role, or in earlier films with the pathetic sissy character or the moral panic villain character.

Not the case of this film. Young gay love and coming out are the subject of the film not a side story to a central straight narrative. In this way ‘Love Simon’ represents history as the first big budget studio film, thank you 20th Century Fox, that involves the central protagonist as a gay person. It is shocking to think that it hasn’t happened until 2018, but when you think back on all the LQBTQI films you love, they were all independently produced. In the year of ‘Black Panther’ a revolution in minority blockbuster representation, its only fitting that we too change the way LGBTQI people are represented.

Not only is the film historic in its representation, and its sincere intent to make a coming out film for today’s youth, which has already inspired young people across the internet to come out, it is also different from gay cinematic history in that it has a happy ending.

The film recently won the audience favourite award at the 25th Annual Mardi Gras film festival, beating out heavyweight critical darlings, and in speaking to audience members who saw it the reactions were fairly uniform: they loved that it was uplifting with a happy ending. LGBTQI cinema has often held a mirror up to the pain of our history, homophobic violence, the damages of the closet, family abuse, AIDS epidemic, drug addiction and suicide. All noble, heart-breaking and vital tales of our collective struggle. And yet it has now become just as noble and vital to use cinema to portray a story of a young American boy dealing with coming out at school and his first love which fills the viewer with joy and optimism.

A prevailing criticism of ‘Love Simon’ which was also lobed against last’s years masterpiece ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is that these films are quote ‘unrealistic’, due in part to their overly romanticised vision of young gay love which many viewers did not share in their own lives. The parents in ‘Love Simon’ do look like supermodels, both films protagonists are from the upper-middle class and final scene in ‘Love Simon’ can strike one as overly saccharin and predictable. Valid criticisms to a degree. Yet perhaps these films seem unrealistic because of the historic darker history we have dealt with and the baggage we as an audience bring with us.

The film is not a masterpiece of the human condition or a searing drama but nor was it meant to be. The cast is uniformly well chosen, particularly the supporting cast, the overzealous principal, the cynical sassy drama teacher were my favourites. The key scenes between Simon and his parents and friends in which he comes out will have an impact on young gay kids lives that we cannot imagine. It is a sweet story set in perhaps a slightly technicolour world of modern gay life, that celebrates how far we have come in our collective LGBTQI experience. Leave your cynicism at the door and embrace the feel-good nature of the film. It does get better, and it did get better, ‘Love Simon’ is the proof.



2018 Movie Reviews

Top Films 2018:

  1. Roma 10/10
  2. The Favourite 10/10
  3. A Star Is Born 10/10
  4. The Rider 10/10
  5. First Reformed 9/10
  6. Vice 9/10
  7. If Beale Street Could Talk 9/10
  8. First Man 9/10
  9. Hereditary 8/10
  10. Annihilation 8/10
  11. Widows 8/10
  12. Blackkklansman 8/10
  13. Green Book 8/10
  14. Beautiful Boy 8/10
  15. Boy Erased 8/10
  16. The Death Of Stalin 8/10
  17. Suspiria 8/10
  18. The Isle Of Dogs 8/10
  19. Black Panther 8/10
  20. Mission Impossible: Fall Out 8/10
  21. Love Simon 7/10
  22. Mario 7/10
  23. Quincy 7/10
  24. Upgraded 7/10
  25. Colette 7/10
  26. The Miseducation Of Cameron Post 7/10
  27. A Quiet Place 7/10
  28. Incredibles 2 7/10
  29. Star Wars: A Solo Story 7/10
  30. On the Basis of Sex 6/10
  31. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 6/10
  32. Deadpool 2 6/10
  33. The Breaker Upers 6/10
  34. Ready Player One 6/10
  35. The Seagull 6/10
  36. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot 6/10
  37. Mama Mia: Here We Go Again 5/10
  38. Oceans 8 5/10
  39. Bohemian Rhapsody 5/10
  40. Avengers: Infinity War 5/10

Top 50 Most Anticipated Films of 2018

Top 50 Most Anticipated Films of 2018

  1. Suspiria (Director: Luca Guadagnino)
  2. If Beale Street Could Talk (Director: Barry Jenkins)
  3. The Irishman (Director: Martin Scorsese)
  4. Boy Erased (Director: Joel Edgerton)
  5. Beautiful Boy (Felix van Groeningen)
  6. First Man (Director: Damien Chazelle)
  7. Roma (Director: Alfonso Cuaron)
  8. Isle of Dogs (Director: Wes Anderson)
  9. Loro (Director: Paolo Sorrentino)
  10. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (Director: Xavier Dolan)
  11. Rio (Director: Luca Guadagnino)
  12. Radegund (Director: Terrence Malick)
  13. Widows (Director: Steve McQueen)
  14. Peterloo (Director: Mike Leigh)
  15. Hereditary (Director: Ari Aster)
  16. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (Director: Gus Van Sant)
  17. Everybody Knows (Director: Asghar Farhadi)
  18. Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Director: Richard Linklater)
  19. Non Fiction (Director: Olivier Assayas)
  20. Mary Queen of Scots (Director: Josie Rourke)
  21. The Favorite (Director: Yorgos Lanthimos)
  22. Bohemian Rhapsody (Director: Dexter Fletcher)
  23. Tully (Director: Jason Reitman)
  24. The House That Jack Built (Director: Lars Von Trier)
  25. Cold War (Director: Pawel Pawlikowski)
  26. Blessed Virgin (Director: Paul Verhoeven)
  27. The Incredibles 2 (Director: Brad Bird)
  28. Backseat (Director: Adam McKay)
  29. At Eternity’s Gate (Director: Julian Schnabel)
  30. Ready Player One (Director: Steven Spielberg)
  31. Domino (Director: Brian De Palma)
  32. You Were Never Really Here (Director: Lynne Ramsay)
  33. Ad Astra (Director: James Gray)
  34. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Director: Coen Bros.)
  35. Mary Magdelene (Director: Garth Davis)
  36. Norway (Director: Paul Greengrass)
  37. Unsane (Director: Steven Soderbergh)
  38. Annihilation (Director: Alex Garland)
  39. Oceans 8 (Director: Steven Soderbergh)
  40. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Director: Terry Gilliam)
  41. A Star Is Born (Director: Bradley Cooper)
  42. Wendy (Director: Benh Zeitlin)
  43. Untitled Adam Driver/Laura Dern Divorce Film (Director: Noah Baumbach)
  44. The Front Runner (Director: Jason Reitman)
  45. Black Klansman (Director: Spike Lee)
  46. Deadpool Sequel (Director: David Leitch)
  47. A Quiet Place (Director: John Krasinski)
  48. Avengers: Infinity War (Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)
  49. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Director: Ron Howard)
  50. Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom (Director: J. A. Bayona)

Final Predictions For The 90th Annual Academy Awards

Final Predictions for the 90th Annual Academy Awards:

Best Picture:
Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Alt: The Shape Of Water
Should Win: Call Me By Your Name

Best Director:
Will Win: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape Of Water

Alt: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Should Win: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape Of Water

Best Actor:
Will Win: Gary Oldman, The Darkest Hour

Alt: Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Should Win: Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

Best Actress:
Will Win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Alt: Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water
Should Win: Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water

Best Supporting Actor:
Will Win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Alt: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Should Win: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Best Supporting Actress:
Will Win: Alison Janney, I, Tonya

Alt: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Should Win: Alison Janney, I, Tonya

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Will Win: Call Me By Your Name
Alt: None

Best Original Screenplay:
Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Alt: Get Out

Best Editing:
Will Win: Dunkirk
Alt: Baby Driver

Best Cinematography:
Will Win: Blade Runner 2049
Alt: Dunkirk

Best Production Design:
Will Win: The Shape Of Water
Alt: Blade Runner 2049

Best Sound Mixing:

Best Sound Editing:

Best Original Score:
The Shape Of Water
Alt: Dunkirk

Best Original Song:
Call Me By Your Name
Alt: Coco

Best Hair/Make Up:
Darkest Hour

Best Costume Design:
Phantom Thread
Alt: The Shape Of Water

Best Visual Effects:
Blade Runner 2049
Alt: War For The Planet Of The Apes

Best Animated Film:

Best Foreign Language Film:
A Fantastic Woman
Alt: The Square

Best Documentary:
Faces Places
Alt: Icarus