Gay Essential Films To Watch, Boulevard

In the gay themed drama Boulevard Sixty-something Nolan Mack (Robin Williams) lives with his long-time wife Joy (Kathy Baker) in a nice suburban house in small town America where he works at the local bank like he’s done most of his career. One night, on his way back home after one of his regular visits to his old catatonic father who’s bed-ridden in a hospice, Nolan almost hits young gay hustler Leo (Roberto Aguirre) with his car. The accidental meeting is not that fortuitous though since Nolan is driving down the boulevard frequented by street workers on purpose, albeit with timid approach.

The apologies lead to Leo getting in his car and the two of them going to a motel but the outcome is not what you’d expect. Nolan pays Leo just to talk to the young man who after getting undressed, is puzzled by Nolan’s request. We learn that, because of the circumstances of his life, Nolan has chosen to never explore his true self, motivated by a genuine love for his wife, even if they sleep in separate rooms. He’s given in to the comfortableness of familiar routines and when he’s offered a promotion at the bank, he has a hard time reconciling with change, even if it’s for the better. However, meeting Leo finally makes him question himself and though he only keeps things platonic, he realises he feels trapped in his marriage, wondering whether he’s wasted his life or it’s never too late to pursuit true happiness. Leo has his own demons to deal with and Nolan’s genuine kindness messes with his mind. As the truth inevitably unravels, will they courageously be open to positive change?

Boulevard

Critics

“Tapping into that same loneliness felt in “One Hour Photo” and “Good Will Hunting,” the actor projects a regret so deep and identifiable, viewers should have no trouble connecting it to whatever is missing in their own lives — whether those regrets are romantic, sexual, professional or spiritual. ”
   Peter Debruge, Variety

“Williams and director Dito Montiel are in tune with a pervading sense of tenderness, as the movie distinctly ruminates on connection, not love.”
   Roger Ebert

“Even burdened by tragedy, Dito Montiel‘s new film gives the late actor an impressive showcase.”
   James Rocchi, The Wrap

Did You Know?

Speaking about why he connected with the material, Boulevard director Dito Montiel said that “he related it a lot to his mother who was 70 when she and his father divorced. He remembers saying to his mother, ‘What are you doing… how could you do this?’ And she said, ‘Well just because I’m 70, I’m not dead.’ That kind of stuck with him when he read this script. It’s more of a story about how do you let go than it is a triumphant coming-out film. Whether you like it or not, you often say goodbye to parts of your old life. That can’t be easy.”  In the words of the legendary late actor Robin Williams: “it’s a love story from an accidental point of view, an arrested development romance but it’s also a relatable meditation on how hard it is to find fulfilment in life.” Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll

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