I love to watch films that aren’t made by big budget film studios. It’s not that I don’t watch mainstream movies because I do, I really really love going to the movies. It’s more that I find independent or alternative films are designed to appeal to a less broad target market so they will often deliver something that mainstream movies do not.
This is true of Closet Monster, Canadian director Stephen Dunn‘s debut feature film, a coming of age story set in a small repressed town in Newfoundland and Labrador. The film stars Connor Jessup as Oscar Madly, a creative and imaginative high school Senior struggling to accept his sexuality and Isabella Rossellini as, oddly, the voice of Oscar’s talking pet hamster, Buffy.
As Oscar struggles to deal with the fall-out of his parent’s break-up and the trauma of witnessing a violent anti-gay attack, he becomes increasingly isolated. His struggle is communicated in conversations with his hamster Buffy, who offers support and advice.
Mixing reality with fantasy, Closet Monster does a great job in telling Oscar’s story. I don’t usually enjoy boy-becomes-man movies but I did enjoy this one. Oscar’s character trying to come out while wrestling with his inner homophobe and fear of rejection is a familiar story to many people in the LGBTQ world.
Closet Monster premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Canadian Feature. I really enjoyed it and while I know this movie won’t appeal to everyone, I hope many of you will like it too.
Take a look at the trailer.