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Witty, knowing and immensely entertaining, Dorian Blues is a delightfully off-kilter coming-of-age tale from debut writer-director Tennyson Bardwell. Adolescence is proving a pain for Dorian (Michael McMillian). Hes an outcast and the butt of classmates jokes at high school, and his football hero brother (Lea Coco) is constantly rescuing him. But everything finally begins to make sense when he realizes that hes gay. Before his archconservative dad (Steven C. Fletcher, in a hilarious role) can throw him out of the house, hes off to NYU where he encounters a new world of cafes, sophisticates and handsome men but this life proves just as frustrating as his world back home.
Witty, knowing and immensely entertaining, Dorian Blues is a delightfully off-kilter coming-of-age tale from debut writer-director Tennyson Bardwell. Adolescence is proving a pain for Dorian (Michael McMillian). He s an outcast and the butt ofmates jokes at high school, and his football hero brother (Lea Coco) is constantly rescuing him. But everything finally begins to make sense when he realizes
||Michael McMillian, Lea Coco, Steve Fletcher, Mo Quigley, Austin Basis|
||Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen|
|Number of Discs:
|DVD Release Date:
||February 21, 2006|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 35 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 35 customer reviews )
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41 of 44 found the following review helpful:
Totally Original and Cliche Free Coming Out TaleMay 19, 2006
By Blake Fraina
For me the two main essentials that can make or break a film are first, the actors and, a close second, the writing. I'm happy to report DORIAN BLUES has the finest of both, in spades.
The cast, even down to the smallest roles, is uniformly excellent. A pleasant surprise when so often the acting in indie/low budget films is appalling, leaving one to assume that the director cast all his friends regardless of their lack of talent.
Michael McMillian as Dorian, is completely winning. Sort of Topher Grace-ish. Kinda cute but not distractingly so. Not in the least effeminate or outrageously quirky, yet still convincing as a gay character who sees himself as a misfit. He pulls off quite a few terrific comic moments but handles the dramatic stuff fairly admirably as well. And Lea Coco as Nick, his handsome jock brother, is an absolute revelation. Everyone - the boys' parents (particularly the thankless role of the father - a right wing conservative bully), Dorian's college friends, an understanding stripper, a wise therapist - all wonderful.
The storyline is completely unique for a coming out film, primarily because it's so much more than that. This is not a film about a teen learning to accept his homosexuality (which he does, fairly early on, and without too much fanfare). It is not about a virgin's quest for his first sexual experience (which is dispatched quickly, humourously...and off camera). And it's not about his achieving the acceptance or respect of his father (which he does not). It's about a young man coming to terms with the fact that he has turned out bitter, mean, sarcastic and angry - just like his father, whom he despises. The writing sparkles with wit and originality. There was nary a cringe-worthy moment in the dialogue where I was left thinking, "But people don't actually say things like that." It all sounded intelligent and natural.
Additionally, the film managed to buck several big gay film cliches and was emotionally richer for it. In particular, the relationship between the brothers, Dorian and Nick, was unbelievably well done. Nick is the first one Dorian comes out to and he accepts him fairly quickly yet with a realistic amount of reserve - considering he's only a high school junior, and a popular athlete at that. Their loving, supportive, occasionally combative, relationship is one of the finest (and refreshingly cliche-free) depictions of two brothers (straight, gay or otherwise) that I have ever seen on film. I don't want to go into a huge amount of detail but I think the folks who write for some of the more strident, polemical LGBT TV shows could learn alot from Tennyson Bardwell, the writer/director of this lovely, funny and moving little film.
19 of 19 found the following review helpful:
Astonishing filmApr 22, 2006
By Thomas Janowski
It's rare to find a film that is a near perfect blend of humor and seriousness. This is one of those rare films. What's truly awesome about the humor and seriousness of this film is how these two opposing forces blend seamlessly.
Every topic, every scene, every character is a well balanced blend of subtle humor and seriousness. There are so many clever and surprising touches that make this film great. One of my favorite scenes is when Dorian tells his mother he wants to talk and she replies "Well, sit down and talk." Then she gets up and walks away. Dorian is surprised by what his mother said(implies she will listen) and the viewer is surprised by the action of her walking away.
Dorian and Nicky have a typical brother to brother relationship. The interaction of the two after Dorian comes out is priceless. Nicky is at once accepting and at other times acts like a typical jock. The dancing scene with a school mate is hilarious. The dancing scene with the stripper is touching.
Steve Fletcher is great as the typically stern, unaccepting, close minded, Republican father. Fletcher is a great actor who I've missed seeing since his days on One Life To Live. The final irony of the film surrounds the death of the father. The news that Dorian is gay didn't trigger an immediate heart attack....it was the news that Nicky lost his football scholarship that did it. It is also very telling when Dorian and his father talk about AIDS. This conversation cracks the father's hard and harsh facade and shows that he does care.
The movie soundtrack is awesome too.
Overall, this is one truly excellent film. Sure it is another coming of age/coming out story, but this one contains the perfect blend of important issues blanketed in easy humor and that's priceless.
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Much Better Than I Was ExpectingSep 06, 2006
By Not Usually Hard To Please
This isn't a slick, big-budget production. It can't possibly reach the pedestal of "high art" set by Brokeback Mountain or the films of Pedro Almodovar. But as a movie I expected to be just a fluffy, silly low-budget comedy, Dorian Blues managed some surprising about of emotional depth.
The largest part of the reason is star Michael McMillian, who manages to never be anything else than appealing even when playing the depths of neuroses. His wide-eyed enthusiam goes a long way towards elevating what could ordinarily be a paint-by-numbers gay indie movie. This is a gem in more ways than one. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
REALLY A GREAT MOVIEMar 30, 2006
By Trevor Henderson
If you like films with gay themes, please watch this movie!
It is a real movie and a really really good movie -- top quality acting and production. The two brothers are charming and captivating in their own very different ways but their relationship is truly amazing and interesting. Both actors do a superb job in their performances. I did not want the story to end and left the film yearning to learn more about each brother and how their lives progressed.
It is the rare movie that left me wishing there is a sequel. Since there is not one, I yearn to see more films by the actors that play the brothers. They were that good!!
Hardly no sex but it has a real story line that says something. Ok, it might not be the best film ever made but it is really very very good, and sorry to say it, but for a U.S. "gay" movie (this genre is still getting off the ground in the U.S. -- see Ventura Pons and Francois Ozon for really great films) it is one of the best.
6 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Not exactly fluff . . .Aug 23, 2006
By D. M. Schuster
I expected this movie to be just another teenage coming of age, coming out film and was not disappointed. I was surprised however, at the depth the film showed how painful some of the gay experience can be. Acting was good, but the direction was the star of this film. Well done. Hope to see more from this director.
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