Hot Sheet: Lutz for Life
BY Advocate.com Editors
January 09 2014 9:27 PM ET
2. FILM: The Truth About Emanuel
For a movie that’s not ostensibly queer, there’s plenty of lesbian subtext in The Truth About Emanuel, the brilliant new film about women, friendship, truth, family and sexuality. Starring Jessica Biel, the film is written and directed by lesbian filmmaker Francesca Gregorini, for her solo directorial debut (she codirected another worthy film, Tanner Hall, in 2012).
The subtext of the film’s friendship includes a kind of a courtship and the fear of homosexuality that underscores modern life. Part of what Gregorini calls “English humor” is set up in the first scene, a traditional family dinner in which Emanuel tells her stepmother that she has had a sexual dream about her the night before. Later, Emanuel’s stepmother tells Linda that Emanuel may have unnatural desires for her because her own mother’s death has left a missing piece in her life. The stepmother creepily urges Linda, “I don’t want her to misinterpret your fondness for her,” and then encourages the character to reiterate her interest in men, asking, “You are interested in men?” The scene cuts back to Alfred Molina and Aneurin Barnard — who play the dad and the boyfriend — leaving the question unanswered. The realness and absurdity provide one of the laugh-out-loud moments in a moving feminist film that’ll keep you guessing to the end. — Diane Anderson-Minshall