“Naked As We Came” – 2012 Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (MGLFF)

Click on image to view trailer.

Writer/Director:  Richard LeMay

Stars:  Ryan Vigilant, Benjamin Weaver, Karmine Alers, and S. Lue McWiliams

Lily (S. Lue McWilliams) has terminal cancer and lives in the family country estate.  One evening  her children, Laura (Karmine Alers) & Elliott (Ryan Vigilant), get a call that their mother is not doing well, and they should visit her.  Together they leave the City and head to the country.  Once at the house they discover the mystery stranger who called them is Ted (Benjamin Weaver), the gardener.  But more importantly, they discover he is also living in her house in his own quarters.  Confused by the circumstances, their Mother’s detioriating condition, past family history, and Ted, the weekend leads to discoveries among all parties.  In her last days, Lily hopes to impart wisdom to her reluctant children–who only remember who she was, and not who she now is.  Laura, Elliott, and Ted are forced by Lily and her circumstances to look in the mirror of their lives and see if they like what they see.

The story is well crafted with interesting character development and mysteries.  Each character has believable motivations for their actions and choices, and each character grows as the story moves forward.  Though you know where this story is going, you are never bored getting there.  And kudos to Richard LeMay (Writer/Director) for not being entirely predictable with each character’s resolution.

McWilliams is a discovery as Lily.  She conveys regrets about decisions she has made in her life, and also humor about her current condition and dealings with her children.  Also, McWilliams does not make the mistake of over exaggerating facial expressions and body language often made by theatre actors with very little film & television experience.  Alers is also from the theatre world, and is fierce as Laura.  She’s tough and she knows it, but tired of being the reliable rock of the family.

Though not in the same league as the female performers, both Vigilant (Elliott) and Weaver (Ted) hold their own.  Elliot is coasting through life and letting it lead him.  Ted, on the other hand, knows what he wants and goes after it.  Both are at different points in their lives but affect each other positively.

The film is well paced.  It starts off slow allowing you to discover the characters, but never bores–with slow moments interjected with witty dialogue.  Once the characters are established, the movie switches to a quicker gear.

It also looks great.  Lily and her family are well-off, and the setting conveys this.  The lighting and colors used are warm and uplifting, complimenting  the story arc.

Overall, Naked As We Came has the potential to be a crossover film to straight audiences.  The story is relatable to all viewers, and the movie has great production value & performances.

Grade = B+

About VictorsMovieReviews

I love movies. I watch them, read them, and am currently writting one. View all posts by VictorsMovieReviews

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