Just saw the movie yesterday and absolutely loved it. I took to IMDb to read up on the director and actresses etc., as I often do when I like a movie. Imagine my surprise when the first review I saw was a long winy 'exposé' of calling the director a pervert in different ways. Say what? Also because the director is lesbian she must hate men, no other evidence needed really according to the author. While that's obviously laughable for anyone who's not a raging homophobe and anyone in their right mind will ignore that review I thought I'd offer my views since there are sadly so few others around here (yet). First I might disclose that I do have a weak spot for movies dealing with female friendships, and as the movie reminded me of Show me Love (Fucking Åmål), Marie Antoinette, Frances Ha and other female centered movies, it was hard for me not to love it. The friendship between Vic and Lady is especially touching, from Lady taking Vic on as a young shy protegé, to them bonding after Vic's victory in the fight she fought for Lady or for Lady's acceptance of Vic leaving. The scene where they are dancing all together or playing mini-golf reminds me of some of the few good scenes of The Bling Ring and perhaps The Spring Breakers, that unquestioning best friend kind of relationships that are never as strong as during your teenage years. Then of course you have Vic's close relationship and protectiveness of her younger sister. I almost cried when Vic sat all ashamed in the train reaching for her sisters hand, and then her sister finally forgave her. And then that final scene... If the only thing you get out of this movie is that you're watching the bodies of a group of young women, then you might want to take a serious look at yourself and how you relate to women. The only sense of any kind of possible objectification or sexual tension that occurred in my mind was when Vic was telling her boyfriend to undress. I could perhaps see that some, a handful, of the straight men watching this movie would confuse it's undertones of sisterhood for something else. After all if you've been feed movies where women are never friends (consider the Bechdel test), only possibly lovers for the male gaze to enjoy, then it might be hard to interpret this movie. It might be frustrating to see young women presented in any other way than the normal and since it doesn't fit your sensibilities interpret that as the 'lesbian gaze'. As a straight woman on the other hand I applaud this movie and wish there are many more like this one to come!
A girl with few real prospects joins a gang, reinventing herself and gaining a sense of self confidence in the process. However, she soon finds that this new life does not necessarily make her any happier.
January 13, 2020