a film by Enrique Buchichio
2009 | 95 mins | Uruguay
›› Leo's Room - El cuarto de Leo
a perceptive portrait of a man struggling to commit to his true self.
Leo's Room by Enrique Buchichio Told with refreshing sincerity, this, the debut feature from Uruguayan writer and director Enrique Buchichio charms with a remarkably honest take on the universal theme of self acceptance.

For newly single Leo takes comfort in his rekindled friendship with Caro, a girl he had a crush on back in his primary school days and whose innocent friendship lies in stark contrast to his prior relationship with Andrea; one that saw him being dumped for having repeatedly failed to rise to the occasion. Yet gone is the carefree child of yesteryear, replaced by a girl wrapped up in anxiety, addicted to anti-depressants to get her through the day.

Leo's Room by Enrique Buchichio Not that twenty-something Leo hasnít issues of his own to deal with, the ending of his relationship being but a wake up call to get real with his homosexuality. Cruising the net for gay sex, he strikes gold in a promising friendship with openly gay Sebastián; Seba to his friends. Only here, Leo resists letting their bond develop outside the behind-closed-doors safety of his student digs, even if his couch potato of a landlord Felipe is more than relaxed about the true nature of their time spent together. Then again, perhaps Felipe, like all of us is just too well aware that somewhere, something has to give, to enable this lost soul to find his inner self.

Contemplative in style, but assured in delivery, here Buchichio has crafted a work that in its own unhurried way deals with a plethora of emotions, including the poignant feelings of grief and pain, let alone the perennial themes of coming out / coming-of-age. In doing so, he highlights the struggle, for some, to come to terms with their past / present, so as to bring peace of mind to their future.

Only whilst Martín Rodríguez as Leo and Cecilia Cósero as gilt ridden Caro are splendid throughout, it is Gerardo Begérez as Seba who delivers the gay backbone of this work, wanting his man, but in his heart knowing that the timing just isnít right. For Leoís room is more like a closet and the man himself ill-at-ease to show the world his gay side, even when living in a city seemingly devoid of homophobia. That it is through his regular sessions with his therapist that Leoís finally comes to accept his sexual path in life, brings a stepping stone styled closure to this feature. Yet in doing so, many may feel that too much time has been spent charting Leoís platonic friendship with Caro, at the expense of the far more engaging relationship with Seba, in this perceptive portrait of a man struggling to commit to his true self, let alone a partner.

Gay Visibility - partial, coming out style. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue
screened as part of the 24th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2010
starring: Martín Rodríguez, Cecilia Cósero, Gerardo Begérez, Arturo Goetz, Mirella Pascual,
Rafael Soliwoda, Carolina Alarcón, César Troncoso, Leonor Svarcas,
Sylvia Murninkas, Sebastián Serantes, Pablo Dive, Diego Arbelo
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #275
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