By Hans Pedersen, December 2016 Issue.
Now Playing on DVD/iTunes | 96 minutes
Shane (Andrew Martin) is a gay Anishinaabe teen living in Ontario, whose family is reeling from shock and grief after his sister’s suicide. The fallout leaves him wondering if running off to college with his secret boyfriend is still a good idea. Caught between a sense of duty to his family and a desire to live his life, Shane must decide where his future lies. The director, Adam Garnet Jones, is a gay Cree/Metis filmmaker who has earned rave reviews as well as film festival awards for this emotionally gripping indie.
Now Playing on DVD/iTunes
From Rob Williams, director of Make the Yuletide Gay, comes this new holiday family (and we do mean family) comedy featuring three interrelated stories that play out during that magical week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Julian and Dylan are roommates who are forced to share a bed for a week, stoking the secret crush that one has on the other; Cal and Laslo take in a teen who has been kicked out of his home for being gay; and Gray and Sid meet up online for a casual fling, but then discover a much more intimate connection. The characters’ adventures all culminate with a “Steve Not Eve” themed New Year’s party in this charmer that won a couple of awards at LGBTQ film festivals.
No Pay, Nudity
In theaters Dec. 9 | R | 92 minutes
In this upbeat tale of an actor’s woes, Lester Rosenthal (Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne) is feeling over-the-hill and hoping to recapture a bit of his youth. He has lost sight of his ambition and he’s losing his connection to his ailing father, ultimately relying on friends like Andrea (Golden Globe winner Frances Conroy) and Herschel, played by out actor Tony and Emmy Award-winner Nathan Lane (The Birdcage). Lester soon returns to his hometown to audition for a production of Shakespeare’s King Lear – as the Fool. This inspirational story of friendship, finding one’ way in life and embracing it, warts and all, co-stars Donna Murphy and Boyd Gaines.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
In theaters Dec. 16 | 133 minutes
Our hero, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), is a Rebellion soldier saddled with a criminal history and a risky mission: she and a group of brave cohorts must steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s greatest weapon. Diego Luna (Milk) and Forest Whitaker (narrator of Dope) co-star in the first stand-alone Star Wars film, which serves as a prequel to the first blockbuster that started it all. Reprising their roles from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith are Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma, who assigns the dangerous task, and Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa, Princess Leia’s adoptive father. And of course, the legendary James Earl Jones returns as the voice of Darth Vader from the original trilogy.