Patrick (Tim Mielants, 2019): Belgium

Reviewed by Brittany Carriger Viewed at the AFI Film Fest 2019

Kevin as Patrick

I cannot say enough good things about this movie.

I explained to my college along the way that I had never felt so safe surrounded by so many fallacies, where typically I feel attacked. This film certainly challenged my post modern feminist sensibilities in every way.

The film takes place in a nudist camp. Life is peaceful as usual when Patrick, played by the brilliant Kevin Janssens, finds that his trusty hammer has gone missing. At the exact time his father has passed, his mother is trying to cope, and his greedy neighbors are trying to steal the nudist colony that his father started and left his Patrick’s hands.

Although the plot seems absurd, and it most certainly is, the film is heart warming and touching. Janssens portrayal of Patrick was not just brilliant, but an acting lesson. Aside from the 40lbs he puts on the play the roll, the has constructed a three dimensional character that is so very human, and humorous that many of our well known actors here state side should be taking notes from him. I was obsessed with Patrick’s manner of walking.

Another performance that should be applauded is the director of photography Frank Van Den Eden. Apparently he and Janssens have worked together before and it showed. They are dancing literally with one another. It was as close to the magic of classic cinema that I have seen in a very long time.

The ensemble cast is worthy of the Hollywood foreign press’s attention. Jermaine Clement , Pierre Bokma show notable strength and character.

I am grateful to my friend who said ” Do you want to see a Swedish nudist film!?”

Although it was not Swedish–the nudity is not there. The costume designer brilliantly used accessories to express our character’s personalities, and I was so comfortable, that I felt perhaps that is what it must have felt like in the Garden of Eden.

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