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‘Close’ Trailer: Lukas Dhont and A24’s Cannes Winner Is a Coming-of-Age Heartbreaker

Dhont's second film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

Close

“Close”

screenshot/A24

Lukas Dhont’s sophomore effort captures the crushing weight of middle school friendship.

Close” centers on Léo and Rémi, two 13-year-old best friends whose seemingly unbreakable bond is suddenly, tragically torn apart. As the duo are teased for being a “couple,” the trailer keeps their relationship — and its tragic end — elusive. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Dhont’s second film is an emotionally transformative and unforgettable portrait of the intersection of friendship and love, identity and independence, and heartbreak and healing.

Close” is directed by Dhont and co-written by Dhont and Angelo Tijssens. The film stars Eden Dambrine, Igor Van Dessel, Émilie Dequenne, and Léa Drucker, and is distributed by A24. There is no release date yet for the award-winning feature.

Belgian filmmaker Dhont made his directorial debut with Cannes-selected trans ballet drama “Girl” in 2018. The film won the Camera d’Or award as well as the Queer Palm for best LGBTQ film. “Close” is based on the construct of masculinity felt by male tweens.

“As a kid, I often denied myself an intimate relationship with another boy, because I feared that relationship,” Dhont told The Hollywood Reporter. “I read research by an American psychologist who followed around 100 boys between the ages of 13 and 18. At 13, she saw how those boys describe their friendships as being incredibly important to them. Their friends were the people they trusted, who they shared their secrets with, who they loved. They weren’t afraid to express the love they felt for their friends. Then she re-interviewed them at 15, 16, 17 and 18. And with a lot of them, she saw how performance masculinity intervened. The intimacy those boys had with each other was interrupted. All of a sudden, the story of my very personal experience seemed to click into something much broader, much more universal.”

Dhont continued, “I understood I wanted to make a film about the impacts of friendship. I think a lot of time in film, we focus on romantic relationships, but for so many of us, friendships define who we are.”

IndieWire critic David Ehrlich praised Dhont’s “palpably specific (and already heartrending) portrait of male friendship in the face of heteronormativity at the altar of a much broader sketch of loss” of youth.

Yet Ehrlich concluded his review that “Close” still “finds its sensitive — if sometimes borderline sadistic — young filmmaker defaulting to universal pain whenever he fears that more personal feelings may be too poignantly ethereal to see on camera.”

“Close” is coming soon from A24.

Check out the trailer below.

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