a film by Scott Boswell
2010 | 107 mins | US
›› The Stranger in Us
the on-again / off-again cycle of a troubled relationship.
The Stranger in Us by Scott Boswell Fans of indie cinema with a raw, realistic feel to it, will no doubt delight in this relationship drama from writer and director Scott Boswell.

For here we find aspiring poet Anthony uprooting himself from Virginia to San Francisco to spend the rest of his days with Stephen; the new man in his life. Only the big city has more than a few surprises hidden up its urban sleeve, as Anthony is set to discover when the ugly side of his partnerís personality reveals itself in the most physical way possible. Exiting stage left quicker than a failed one-liner, Anthony is soon to be found sharing an apartment with a girl who is hardly ever present. Handy for him, when his nocturnal desire for poetic inspiration brings him into contact with Gavin; a barely illegal hustler eager for a bed for the night and perhaps something more. That being human contact and friendship. Only as the two come to form the habit of helping each other out in times of need, what is to become of them when Anthonyís ex turns up on his doorstep wishing to rekindle their failed relationship?

The Stranger in Us by Scott Boswell In his feature length debut, Boswell is a brave man, given here he tackles themes rarely seen in gay cinema. Only in detailing the love, the anger and the regrets of a volatile relationship, Boswell does so out of sequence, chronologically jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof, leaving a divided audience in his wake, given some will undoubtedly revel in the fragmented, if time indexed journey, whilst others could all too soon tire of the back and forth experience. And thatís a shame given the telling performances from the three leads, with Adam Perez relishing the role of a fallen angel with a-liking for a fast con, even if and in spite of solid work from Scott Cox in an unsympathetic part, this remains a Raphael Barker piece and here cue his roles in Shortbus and of late Joseph Graham's eroticised feature Strapped.

Clearly made on a limited budget, this intimate work all too vividly exemplifies the on-again / off-again cycle of a troubled relationship and the downward spiral it can bring, when love turns to loss. Yet this is neither a picture postcard of San Francisco, as ease of alcohol, drugs and sex, paid or otherwise, coupled with many a lonely soul found walking the streets in an endless search for companionship is laid bare for all to see. Yet in illustrating the dark side of life, Boswell equally and quite beautifully shines the spotlight on the courage it takes to start anew, along the way seeking out lifeís joys and here cue a lovely cameo from chanteuse Veronica Klaus as a serenading diva. A fresh and gritty message in a cinematic bottle, indeed.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 
available on DVD as part of the Breaking Glass Pictures catalogue 07.December.2010 / US.
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue 27.February.2012 / UK.
starring: Raphael Barker / Anthony, Scott Cox / Stephen, Adam Perez / Gavin, Jeffrey Weissman / Jack,
Anthony's Boss, David Scott Keller / Greg, Veronica Klaus / Serenading Diva, Brian Levy / Michael,
Luis Quiroz / Angel, Alex Rodriguez / Chad, Kelly Sanchez / Jeremy, Jesse Schoem / Local
Drug Dealer, Marc Scruggs / Terry and Lee Brady as The Voice of Grandma.
dedicated "for Gavin."
Revised and Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #352
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