Frameline 2017: ‘God’s Own Country,’ ‘Beach Rats,’ ‘A Date for Mad Mary,’ ‘Becks’ and others that you need to see

Frameline — the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival — overflows with well-made and exciting features to mark its 41st year.

Here are seven standouts — in addition to the 10 previously mentioned — you need to  check out during the festival’s run, June 15-June 25. 

In the days ahead, I’ll be posting short reviews of others, including one that’s my favorite  in the lineup.

Stay tuned! 

BeachRats.jpg
(Courtesy of Frameline) Harris Dickinson (center) makes a name for himself in “Beach Rats.”

“Beach Rats”:  Talented filmmaker Eliza Hittman’s so-real-it-aches Sundance winner is an insightful character study of a hunky, closeted Brooklyn guy and his sexual hookups and hangups. Featuring a breakthrough performance from Harris Dickinson, it fearlessly visits uncomfortable places and spaces. Watch Hittman’s feature-length debut, “It Felt Like Love” too. It’s a knockout. (7 p.m., June 22, Roxie)

PromKing2010
(Courtesy of Frameline) Christopher Schaap (left) directs and stars in “Prom King 2010.”

“Prom King 2010”: A college student tries to find his groove, not to mention a rock-solid relationship, while in New York. But alas sex and love in the big city is never easy. Christopher Schaap stars and directs, and his first feature is a sumptuously photographed find. (June 19, Castro)

God's Own Country - Still 1
(Courtesy of Frameline) Josh O’Connor (right) and Alec Secareanu star in Francis Lee’s stirring “God’s Own Country”

 

“God’s Own Country”: Francis Lee’s award-winning, feature-length debut makes you feel not only like you’re a part of the rugged Northern England terra firma but that you’re rolling around in earthy passion. His rich drama about two men — a farmer (Josh O’Connor) and a Romanian ranchhand (Alec Secareanu) — and an undeniable attraction is not only wildy sexy but elemental and real. I love this film. (6:30 p.m. June 17, the Castro)

DateforMadMary
(Courtesy of Frameline) “A Date for Mad Mary” is a definite find. Lead Seana Kerslake is a revelation.

 

“A Date for Mad Mary”: An anger-prone maid of honor who’s been freshly released from a prison stint makes a mess of things while finding a date in director Darren Thornton’s observant Ireland-set dramedy. This is beautifully played in every way; funny and touching, and best of all honest. Lead Seana Kerslake is a revelation. (June 18,  Victoria; June 24, Piedmont)

HandsomeDevil
(Courtesy of Frameline) It might follow a formula, but “Handsome Devil” with Nicholas Galitzine is bolstered by strong characters and performances.

“Handsome Devil”: In this formulaic but satisfying coming-out tale, a troubled rugby player (Nicholas Galitzine) rooms with his seemingly polar opposite, the much more demonstrative and picked-upon Conor (Fionn O’Shea, so good). What elevates John Butler’s Ireland-set dramedy from its adherence to a template are the characters and performances, including another standout turn from “Sherlock’s” Andrew Scott as a gay English teacher. (1:30 p.m., June 17, Victora; 9:15 p.m., June 20, the Victoria)

Becks
(Courtesy of Frameline) Lena Hall plays a forlorn character who beelines to the Midwest and strikes up a friendship in “Becks”

“Becks”: After catching her L.A. girlfriend in the cheating act, a forlorn folk singer Becks (Lena Hall) sullenly shrugs her way back to her conservative Midwest roots. Once there she deals with a faith-centered mom (Christine Lahti, stealing every scene she’s in) who struggles to  balance a staunch religious convictions with her desire to support her daughter’s happiness.  Meanwhile, Becks strikes up a close friendship with the wife (Mena Suvari) of her former high school tormentor. Bolstered by a nifty soundtrack and good performances — particularly from Lahti — “Becks” is a treat. ( 6:30 p.m., June 21, the Castro)

To get tickets, visit frameline.org

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