In The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros Maxi Oliveros (Nathan Lopez) is a twelve-year-old boy in the domestic service of his father Paco Oliveros (Soliman Cruz) and older brothers Boy and Bogs Oliveros (Neil Ryan Sese and Ping Media, respectively), who make their living as petty criminals stealing small items. Maxi is something of an anomaly; he has a penchant for all things feminine and girly, a quality that makes him stick out on the mean streets of Manila. He is the object of much teasing. This wayward kid crosses paths with a handsome, kind young cop named Victor (J.R. Valentin) when his older brothers are suspected of murder.
The conflict at hand is that Maxi’s family is coming under scrutiny, and the cost of becoming closer with Victor is the risk of putting his father and brothers in further danger. One night, Victor is beaten bloody by Paco, Boy, and Bogs, and Maxi is the one who tends to his wounds and keeps his company. The two become an odd couple of sorts due to their age difference, although their relationship never develops beyond the amicable; Maxi typically admires Victor from a distance, though his amorous attentions are apparent in their conversations. However, Paco Oliveros, Maxi’s father, is eventually taken out by Victor’s boss, the police chief, and this is the final blow to their bond. The final shot of the movie, in which Maxi passes by Victor without so much as a goodbye glance, is a direct homage to Carol Reed’s The Third Man.
“It’s hard to resist the raucous, vivacious tone encapsulated in its bold, vibrant wardrobe and set dressing and Lopez’s charming and affecting pivotal performance, all of which yields a vivid sense of a capital city rarely seen on screen.”
— Time Out
“Maximo Olivares transcends the Euro-American model of gay teen movies, in which: 1. The teen believes that there are no other gay people in the universe; 2. Everyone is horrifically homophobic; 3. Everyone is horribly depressed.”
— Boomer Beefcake and Bonding
“Like Maximo, who traipses the streets of Manila’s Sampaloc slums, the film breezes through its 102 minutes with childlike innocence.”
— A Persistent Vision
Did You Know?
Though the budget for The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros was shoestring, it went so far as to become Philippine’s official entry for the 79th Academy Awards. Nathan Lopez who plays the role of Maxi is a twin, his brother Gammy wanted the role but was too masculine. A real gay boy was planted amongst Maxi’s friends – Leslie (Jett Desalesa) who Nathan mirrored his mannerisms. Review our Gay Themed Films Here