The Way He Looks

Blind, classical music-obsessed teen Leo (Ghilherme Lobo) struggles to fit in at school and strives to find independence from his over-protective parents. He’s helped by supportive best friend Giovana (Tess Amorim), but the two are pushed apart when Gabriel (Fabio Audi) joins the class and grows very close to Leo.

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This Brazilian film takes the coming-of-age-while-coming-out elements of Beautiful Thing, bringing in the added challenges associated with being blind. It’s based on a 2010 short film with the same core cast, including Lobo, who’s not blind in real life but does an incredible job of pretending to be.

Its non-hysterical story focuses on the small details of the love triangle at its core, and sensitively portrays all the issues it addresses. It’s excellently written, with the slow development of the characters’ relationships always feeling plausible. Combined with excellent direction from Daniel Ribeiro and some very good musical choices, the result is a beautiful and heartwarming film.

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