Whistler Film Festival 2016: As You Are

United States

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      As You Are opens with Charlie Heaton looking much as he did during the entirety of Stranger Things: miserable, bleary-eyed, and downright exhausted.

      Rather than a missing-child case, however, we quickly find that Heaton’s Mark and friends Jack (Owen Campbell) and Sarah (Amandla Stenberg)—sexually fluid teens rebelling in 1990s America—are at the centre of a different kind of police investigation.

      What, specifically, you ask? You’ll have to be patient. Rookie writer-director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte seems dead set on keeping viewers in the dark, slowly divulging details of the incident through flashbacks and grainy police interrogation footage.

      Although the big reveal suffers from an almost lethargic lead-up, the film’s key moments are raw and affecting, a beautiful reminder of the courage it takes to understand, love, and accept your true self.

      Village 8 Cinemas Theatre 8, December 2 (8 p.m.)