Title: You Can Live Forever
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Mark Slutsky, Sarah Watts
Starring: Anwen O’Driscoll, June Laporte, Liane Balaban
Runtime: 1 hr 36 mins
What It Is: Jaime (O’Driscoll) is a young woman whose mother is having a mental break. When she’s sent to live with her aunt Beth (Balaban) and step-uncle Jean Francois (Antoine Yared). They are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and being as such they expect Jaime to join them for church and adapt to their ways. The only problem is Jaime identifies as a queer person. Something frowned upon and shunned in the JW community. When she meets the preacher’s daughter Marike (Laporte) she’s smitten and maybe just maybe so is the mousy and innocent Marike.
What We Think: There are moments in this film where you dread the shoe from the other foot dropping. Where you think that at any moment this film is going to turn for the worse. That build-up is so well done. When the inevitability of the situation goes as you’d expect this is when the acting does its job so effectively. Credit to O’Driscoll and Laporte they have magnetic chemistry and bring life to these characters. The film itself offers a unique queer tale that also gives greater insight into the JW lifestyle. Balancing someone’s truth with the perceived “truth”. As mentioned an excellent young cast guides this somewhat powerful piece.
Our Grade: B-, A fantastic surprise coming out of Tribeca this is one that I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a film that explores a culture I wasn’t familiar with. It rides that line between the honesty of what they believe without judging those in the lifestyle for making that choice. That’s a fine line and one excellently done by Slutsky and Watts both from the writing and directing perspectives. Check this one out but trigger warning to those who used to be in the “truth”.