Directed by: Stephen Dunn, Written by: Stephen Dunn
Starring: Connor Jessup, Isabella Rossellini, Aaron Abrams,
Aliocha Schneider, Joanne Kelly, Sofia Banzhaf
A creative and driven teenager is desperate to escape his hometown and the haunting memories of his turbulent childhood.
Closet Monster is a film that I have meaning to watch since it was featured at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. I tried to fit it into my viewing schedule on top of my volunteer shifts, but unfortunately it just didn’t work out. Fast forward to over a year later and I was finally able to watch this film via iTunes. It turned out to be everything I hoped it would be.
What I Liked
The visuals. Closet Monster was visually stunning. The cinematography was simply beautiful. I loved the colours, especially during the party scene. Everything just looked so artistic and carefully shot. I would recommend watching this film for the visuals alone.
The unique take on a coming of age story. Rather than just watching Oscar grow up, we learn a little bit about his childhood first. We know that he didn’t have the best childhood and that he is also traumatized by an event that he witnessed as a child that he has kept bottled up his entire life. This event has negatively impacted his thoughts on identifying as gay as he grows up and lives his life.
The spirit animal hamster. Yes, you read that correctly. Oscar has a pet hamster named Buffy who acts as his spirit animal. Oscar talks to Buffy, usually when he really needs some advice or if he just needs someone to listen to him…and Buffy talks back. Well, at least in Oscar’s mind. I told you this was a unique take on a coming of age story. Do you believe me yet?
The homegrown talent. This is a Canadian film by a Canadian director/writer and a mostly Canadian cast. I can’t help but love when a film created in my home country is highly praised and recognized. I have talked about how much I absolutely love the many films by Xavier Dolan, another Canadian director, and Closet Monster definitely made me feel the same way that Dolan’s films have. I’ll definitely be looking into watching more films by Stephen Dunn in the near future.
What I Didn’t Like
The length. I wanted more. Simple as that.
Closet Monster is one of the best coming of age stories that I have seen in a while. It deserves all of the praise that it is receiving and I highly recommend it.