After 11-days of laughing, crying, learning, and connecting, come close the Festival with a feel-good comedy. Picture Dead Poets Society meets Glee at a rugby-obsessed Irish boy’s boarding school. In Handsome Devil, lanky, red-haired misfit Ned, sticks out glaringly among his macho peers. Ned copes with everyday bullying by keeping to himself, until the rugby team’s newest star athlete, Conor, moves into his dorm room. Gradually, the loner and the jock form an unlikely friendship—one that teaches them to both care for and challenge one another in ways they never thought possible.
The film also offers satisfying sub-plot in the story of closeted English teacher, Dan Sherry (Andrew Scott of Pride and Sherlock), who struggles to support Ned and Conor while trying not to out himself. Writer and director John Butler successfully shows the true threats of homophobia for youth and adults, while keeping the narrative decidedly optimistic. Winner of the Dublin Film Critics Circle Award in 2016, John Butler’s sophomore feature film has been charming audiences worldwide.
Handsome Devil | John Butler | Ireland | 2016 | 95 min
Screening Sponsor: Scotiabank