a film by Baldvin Zophoníasson
2010 | 93 mins | Iceland
›› Jitters - Órói
an Icelandic ode to coming-of-age.
Jitters by Baldvin Zophoníasson What lies in a kiss between friends? Well in this well played ensemble work from Iceland, co-writer and director Baldvin Zophoníasson provides the answer; albeit if only after many a reel.

Beginning in Manchester, Zophoníasson's Skins inspired ode to coming-of-age sees Gabriel's time spent at an English language school culminate in a gentle kiss with his newfound friend and hairdresser-in-the-making Markus. Not that Gabriel has much chance to get to grips with his emerging sexuality, when upon his return home he is forced to act as a mediator between close friend Stella and her over protective grandmother, his best friend Teddi whose been caught attempting to play away from home by his girlfriend Tara, let alone come to the support of Greta in her quest to get to know the father, she never knew. With Gabriel's own family all but too aware of their son's sudden change of mood and with his mother determined to get to know the reason as to why, just how long can Gabriel keep his homosexual heart from showing?

Jitters by Baldvin Zophoníasson This is a brave film, for and in a marked change from the standard take on the coming out genre, here Zophoníasson largely moves the cinematic spotlight away from the self-realization of homosexuality, to focus instead on the star of the show forced to deal with the emotional ups and down of others around him. Yet this is a risky strategy, resulting in the narrative moving from one character to the next, leaving certain aspects of Gabriel's plight are all too noticeable by their absence. Indeed and in spite of a promising and quite lovely start, the Gabriel / Markus pairing is more akin to that of a subplot, being just one of the many relationships featured.

Thankfully the raging hormones of adolescent youth are wonderfully captured, as seemingly endless house parties give way to drink and ever present sexual yearnings, scenes that it has to be said are beautifully rendered by its cast of fresh faces. Only there are frankly too many faces here, each with their own story to tell, akin to watching a mini-series filled with feelings of joy and heartache, to outright tragedy, crammed into a single feature. And personally speaking, I would have preferred to have had more screen time devoted to the two young men grappling with the jitters of their burgeoning sexuality and love, than that of the often distracting teenage angst of Gabriel's circle of friends. But then, is that any surprise?

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 2+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue 09.April.2012 / UK.
starring: Atli Oskar Fjalarsson / Gabriel, Hreindís Ylva Garšarsdóttir / Stella, Haraldur Ari Stefánsson / Markus,
Birna Rún Eiríiksdóttir / Greta, Elías Helgi Kofoed-Hansen / Teddi, María Birta / Júdit,
Kristín Pétursdóttir / Tara and Vilhelm Neto as Mitrovik.
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #477
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