a film by Joshua Lim
2010 | 101 mins | US
›› The Seminarian
the divine gift of love.
The Seminarian by Joshua Lim From writer and director Joshua Lim comes this slow burning tale charting the lives of a group of theological students, in and out of love.

Only these young seminarians are far from being virginal priests in-the-making. And no more so than star of the show Ryan; a contemplative cutie, who alongside his fellow closeted scholars, Anthony and Gerald, are struggling with the emotional desires of their homosexual heart. All too aware of the religious stance of his devout, but close mother and with his two best friends often preoccupied with their own relationship blues, Ryan seeks solace in the company of online hook up and more Bradley, all the while questioning The Divine Gift of Love as part of his thesis and hopefully one-way ticket to Yale. Yet what is greater: his love for God or his love for man?

The Seminarian by Joshua Lim In a work that has clearly been delivered from the heart, Lim has gone out of his way to preach a cinematic sermon on the nature of love, crosscutting his narrative with a medley of theological discussions in the process. Only the lesson given suffers from one too many dialogue sequences delivered mobile fashion, admit a cast of characters that drift into Ryan's life back and forth style, leaving Alex Matute as happy-go-lucky one-nighter Kevin and Matthew Hannon as the unrequited look of love of the piece, all too underused. And that's a shame, as there was some serious potential here, only to be diminished by way of a seemingly never ending series of fade-to-blacks, resulting in a "stop and start" feel to the production. Still Mark Cirillo and Eric Parker Bingham as lover boys Ryan and Bradley are not averse to doing the full monty, with Cirillo having succeeded in giving a whole new meaning to the term "bear hug."

That no-one is filled with any gay self-loathing and / or sexual denial is to Lim's credit, in a work that it has to be said, is beautifully framed, if somewhat low on religious fuelled homophobia. Yet for a feature that speaks of how forgiveness plays a vital part in a loving relationship, it lacks an overall impact, being a narrative that would have played better on stage, than screen.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Breaking Glass UK catalogue: 29.October.2012 / UK.
available on DVD as part of the Breaking Glass Pictures catalogue: 10.April.2012 / US.
starring: Mark Cirillo / Ryan, Eric Parker Bingham / Bradley, Javier Montoya / Anthony, Matthew Hannon /
Gerald, Derek Renn / Eugene, Jessica Blythe / Kelli, Alex Matute / Kevin, Jason Grasl / Dat,
Ray Barnhart / Jeff, Jo McLachlan / Lorree and Nicole Barger as the Voicemail.
with: Linda J Carter as Ryan's Mother and Philip Willcox as Professor Craig.
official website:
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #475
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