Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The Brisbane International Film Festival is underway - click here for our reviews from their great line-up!x
review, 1985, 1985, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Cory Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, Jamie Chung, Aidan Langford, Ryan Piers Williams, Michael Darby, Bryan Massey, Bill Heck, Yen Tan, Drama film rating

1985

★★★

AN EMOTIONAL LOOK AT AN OVERLOOKED PAST

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Chris dos Santos
31st March 2019

Even while we are in 2019, the power of 20-gay-teen is still all around us; just this past weekend, the GLAAD awards began (there is still another ceremony to be had to May) in which a record-breaking ten films were nominated for outstanding film – including '1985' in the Limited Release category.. And that is a really exciting thing - proving gay stories are not only needed in media, but craved.

Transporting us back to 1985, Adrian (Cory Michael Smith, TVs ‘Gotham’, ‘First Man’) returns to Texas for the holidays after being in New York for three years. He comes back to reconnect with his religious mother and father as well as his young brother. Adrian is hoping to come out, as he has just been diagnosed with AIDS. While in town he also is hoping to reconnect with his best friend Carly (Jamie Chung, ‘Big Hero 6’, ‘Office Christmas Party’), but troubles in their relationship resurface.

'1985' TRAILER

Across the board, the performances are fantastic. Starting with Cory Michael Smith, you really feel his character's struggle between his secret and coping with the fact that this will likely be his last Christmas. You instantly connect with the character and never loose that connection throughout the entire run time. His mother, played by Virginia Madsen (‘Joy’, ‘Better Watch Out’), is really good here; she is the mum who knows her son's secret without being told while dealing with her own religious values. The father is played by Michael Chiklis (2005's ‘Fantastic Four’, ‘The Do-Over’) and again he is quite good, his character has been in the military and likes sports and beer. His youngest son (Aidan Langford) has transitioned from being interested in basketball to being interested in musical theatre, while he also suspects that Adrian has a secret. There is an extremely emotional scene where Adrian and his father sit down and talk, and it shows both sides so perfectly. Cory Michael Smith doesn’t have a lot of lines in the scene, but just the emotion in his face is phenomenal.

The film is filmed in black and white and for me it never felt like a gimmick, it wasn’t really until after that I really thought about it. It does very much help to ground the film and help make it feel much more realistic. Another positive is the run time - there are so many films like this that overstay their welcome, but clocking in at 85 minutes, '1985' get its point across without ever feeling pretentious or tedious.

Across the board, the performances are fantastic. You really feel Cory Michael Smith's character's struggle between his secret and coping with the fact that this will likely be his last Christmas.

One of the movie's massive pros is the way it handles being gay and having AIDS. While it's clear the film is using it as a talking and selling point, it never feels forced. While yas, the "gay" thing yas is a part of the plot, but at the core the story is a man going through an illness and the pain of having to tell his family, and knowing this is one of the last times he will see them before he passes. I think that as soon as it's clear a lead character is gay in a film, it’s no longer a movie, it’s a movement and defining a group of people. For example ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ or ‘The Notebook’ aren’t films that define illness, they are films that make your mum cry. So change it to a gay story and boom, it seems people see it as a movement. But thankfully thanks to films like ‘1985’, we are slowly moving away from that thinking, which is extremely exciting.

Adrian feels a strong connection to his brother, Andrew, who seems to being going the same path sexuality-wise, and really wants to be there for him since he hasn’t been in the past, and their scenes where some of the strongest in the film. The ending is quite a beautiful message of hope for the future of the community.

Overall, ‘1985’ gives an interesting look at a past we seem to be forgetting; AIDS is something that affects the gay community, and I’m glad director Yen Tan (‘Pit Stop’, ‘Ciao’) is putting that back into people's minds. While personally the film didn’t move me as emotionally as it might for others, there is no denying it’s a great film thanks to its performances.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 25/04/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 25m
CAST: Cory Michael Smith
Virginia Madsen
Michael Chiklis
Jamie Chung
Aidan Langford
Ryan Piers Williams
Michael Darby
Bryan Massey
Bill Heck
DIRECTOR: Yen Tan
WRITERS: Hutch
Yen Tan
PRODUCERS: Hutch
Ash Christian
SCORE: Curtis Heath
www.1985TheFilm.com
1985TheFilm
1985TheFilm
1985TheFilm
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil - Disney still have some magic left in them
TRENDINGMALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVILDisney still have some magic left in them
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
Brisbane International Film Festival 2019 - The Reviews
TRENDINGBRISBANE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019The Reviews
Midsommar: The Director's Cut - Ari Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
TRENDINGMIDSOMMAR: THE DIRECTOR'S CUTAri Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
Strange but True - All-star cast saves thriller from being a total misfire
TRENDINGSTRANGE BUT TRUEAll-star cast saves thriller from being a total misfire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire - A perfect film on the language of desire
TRENDINGPORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIREA perfect film on the language of desire
Matthias and Maxime - A magical film on the complexity of friendship and love
TRENDINGMATTHIAS AND MAXIMEA magical film on the complexity of friendship and love
Ladyworld - Experimental thriller not so thrilling
TRENDINGLADYWORLDExperimental thriller not so thrilling
Judy & Punch - A dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
TRENDINGJUDY & PUNCHA dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
Bangla - A truly beautiful mess
TRENDINGBANGLAA truly beautiful mess
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Red Pill, Blue Pill - 10 Films Influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
TRENDINGRED PILL, BLUE PILL10 Films Influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
La La Land - What to make of this musical dream?
TRENDINGLA LA LANDWhat to make of this musical dream?
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
Judy - Zellweger goes for Oscar gold in mid-core biopic
TRENDINGJUDYZellweger goes for Oscar gold in mid-core biopic
Locusts - A low-key, low-down thriller
TRENDINGLOCUSTSA low-key, low-down thriller
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us