Porcupine Lake is an impressive drama about two characters caught between childhood and a forever elusive emotional maturity. With heartfelt and achingly real performances from its central actresses, this low-key coming of age tale is one of the best hidden delights to emerge from the recent LGBT festival circuit.
The rural setting of this coming of age tale may initially remind viewers of the similarly rugged Yorkshire backdrops of God’s Own Country, one of last year’s standout LGBT films. But the Peruvian landscape hides an intolerant undercurrent, with these rural villages populated entirely by townsfolk with reactionary and religiously motivated attitudes towards same sex relationships.
Just over ten years ago, Polish filmmaker Alina Skrzeszewska moved to a hotel near Skid Row, America’s infamous “homeless capital” located on the outskirts of central Los Angeles. Despite only spending a year living in the neighbourhood, it’s had a significant impact on her life – and she’s returned there once again to make yet another documentary following the citizens caught living on the streets just blocks away from luxurious skyscrapers.
Mike Roma’s assured directorial debut is primarily a family drama, where a mother and son’s relationship is contrasted with their online dating accounts – something he manages to make visually exciting, with very few scenes of characters staring at their phones. Dating My Mother is a charming and instantaneously likeable character comedy.