|BEACH RATS (director/writer: Eliza Hittman; cinematographer: Hélène Louvart; editors: Scott Cummings, Joe Murphy; music: Chrostopher Lennertz; cast: Harris Dickinson (Frankie), Madeline Weinstein (Simone), Kate Hodge (Donna, Mother), Erik Potempa (Michael), Neal Huff (Joe, father), Nicole Flyus (Carla), Anton Selyaninov (Jesse), Frank Hakaj (Nick), David Ivanov (Alexi), Harrison Sheehan (Jeremy); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Brad Becker-Parton, Drew Houpt, Paul Mezey, Andrew Goldman; Neon; 2017)|
|"Always thoughtful and delicate as a
psychological drama, but gains further kudos because
of the rewarding performance by Harrison
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Brooklyn born writer-director Eliza Hittman ("It Felt Like Love") tells a palpable coming-of-age summer story about an unemployed, aimless, doper and confused over his sexual-identity Brooklyn youth named Frankie (Harris Dickinson, Brit actor). The teen lives at home with his caring but emotionally-drained mom (Kate Hodge), his snippy younger sister (Nicole Flyus) and his bed-ridden father (Neal Huff) in his last days before dying from cancer. His hangout doper pals would dump him if they knew he was into gay sex to score weed from on-line contacts. Asked by a gay on-line contact what he likes, he responds “I don’t really know what I like.” When Frankie meets on the boardwalk the sexually aggressive Simone (Madeline Weinstein) he feels relieved he can show off a girl to his buddies, but is unsure if he can handle her demands for sex and attention.
We follow the inarticulate Frankie as he prefers to get it on with older men while he wrestles inside to either come out or remain repressed. Frankie hits a fragile area in his psyche and is paralyzed from coming clean about who he is, in this powerful character study where he must deal with his distraught mom who wants him to leave the house because he's always on drugs. The emotionally weak lad also has to deal with his three loser aimless friends and to deal with a cautious romance with the wary Simone
It's always thoughtful and delicate as a psychological drama, but gains further kudos because of the rewarding performance by Harrison Dickinson.
REVIEWED ON 12/19/2017 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ