Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 01/27/2023
Production Company: Diaphana Films

Eden Dambrine, Gustav de Waele, Émilie Dequenne and Léa Drucker.

Director: Lukas Dhont. Producers: Jacques-Henri Bronckart, Michiel Dhont, Arnold Heslenfield, Dirk Impens, Michael Saint-Jean, Laurette Schillings and Frans van Gestel. Executive Producer: Lukas Dhont. Screenwriters: Lukas Dhont and Angelo Tijssens. Cinematographer: Frank van den Eeden.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"Close," is the new coming-of-age-drama from Belgian director/screenwriter Lukas Dhont ("Girl"). The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (May 2022) to critical acclaim. It is also nominated for "Best International Feature Film" at the 95th Annual Academy Awards.

This heart-warming story is about a friendship between two 13-year-old boys played by Eden Dambrine and Gustav De Waele in their debut, feature film. Based on their star turn here, these youngsters have a bright future ahead of them.

Leo (Dambrine) and Remi (De Waele) are vibrant, playful kids and neighbors, that love running riding their bikes, drawing, play fighting and even napping together. They are inseparable.

When they head back to school after summer break, the other kids notice them always hanging out together and soon begin to tease them about being a couple. They are a couple of best friends. Nothing more. Still, that doesn't prevent the whispers and giggling from their schoolmates.

As much as Leo and Remi try to ignore them, it starts to wear Leo down more than Remi. Leo wants to fit in at school with the other kids, but he doesn't want to ruin his friendship with Remi either who isn't as outgoing as he is.

The peer pressure Leo encounters becomes too much. So, he begins to slowly distance himself from Remi and hang out with other students. He suggests that Remi do the same. Over time, Leo becomes annoyed by Remi and gets a bit more assertive about them being together. Their once boys-will-be-boys roughhousing moments turn less playful and more physical.

Leo's participation in other school activities like playing ice hockey seems like a welcome distraction from Remi, but his heart really isn't into the game. He misses his friend.

The longer they are apart, the more Remi becomes withdrawn especially at home which concerns his mother Sophie (Emilie Dequenne, TV's "Quotidien") and father Peter (TV's "Two Summers"). And for good reason. Something suddenly happens to Remi that no one expected. The horrific event drastically changes everyone, especially Leo who will never be able to forgive himself for shutting Remi out of his life.

"Close" is both beautiful and tragic. It starts slow, but this stirring film about love and loss from screenwriter/director Lukas Dhont, envelops you with its style and grace and leaves an impression long after the credits roll.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "CLOSE"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"