In an era when a new sequel comes out just about every week, we like to think that good movies are the ones that strive to be as original as possible. In actuality, however, complete originality is not only unattainable, but it’s also not even necessary. Rather than reinvent the wheel, some of this year’s best movies (e.g., The Souvenir) simply took familiar stories and told them with a unique kind of subtlety and expression.
“The two men discover they’re attracted to each other, and they eventually enter into a relationship.”
Marco Berger’s The Blonde One is one such film. Set in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, the movie recounts the story of Gabriel (Gaston Re) and Juan (Alfonso Barón), two flatmates who work in the same woodworking shop. Although each of them already has a girlfriend – Juan even invites his (Malena Irusta) over on a regular basis – the two men discover they’re attracted to each other, and they eventually enter into a relationship.
As in many other LGBTQ+ films, the biggest obstacle to Gabriel and Juan’s relationship is homophobia. But don’t expect to find any raging bigots who go on rants about the evils of homosexuality (à la, say, Boy Erased). Rather, the oppressive heteronormativity of Gabriel and Juan’s world is generally conveyed obliquely, whether through casual comments that Juan’s friends make about “hot” female athletes, jokes those same friends tell about tomboys or the camera’s near-total stillness.