MiniReview: "1985" (film)

The actors are the reason this film is more than just good. Aidan Langford, Michael Chiklis, Virginia Madsen  and Cory Michael Smith as the loving Lester family.


What is it?

A 2018 American independent film written and directed by Yen Tan.


I’ve never heard of it.

No, neither had I.


So why’d you watch it? I mean, how did you find it?

I just happened to come upon it, on a streaming service, and it looked interesting.



You’re supposed to ask questions about the film, not about me and my choices! . . . But, since you asked, the title attracted my attention first, I guess, ’cause it’s when I was a young man. And then the subject is a young man who is closeted from his family and comes home from New York to spend Christmas with them in Texas. And that sounded pretty compelling.  


Another AIDS story?

It kind of is, but this is a film full of twists. We know the main character has AIDS, but the film doesn’t dwell too much on his sickness. Rather, the story is more about his distance from his Christian family, whom he loves but doesn’t want to hurt by (1) telling them he's gay and (2) telling them he's ill. Honestly, this film was so painful to watch, in a cathartic way.


You liked it, you mean?

I loved it. It’s such a gentle film, in gorgeous black and white. Subtle and real in a way that Hollywood films (which this isn't) almost never are. Beautifully and understatedly acted. There are no villains here. Even Christianity isn’t denounced. A very special film, a complete delight, terribly moving.



Two. Original and gorgeous. Proof that you don’t need a big budget to make a first-rate film. Many of the scenes are played in front of a stationary camera, which puts the emphasis on the acting and writing. Honestly, it’s such a relief from the whirling cameras and ADHD cutting of most modern films.

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