appeared at last week's New York International Latino Film Festival
. Like many of the films at the 11th annual festival, it is 100% independent, has a first-time director, is packed with a good script and features stellar acting that would be tough to find at mainstream movie theaters
. Leo's Room
is quiet, shuffles on the screen and no one speaks above a whisper; but despite the subtlety, the flick has an obvious charm.
Directed by Uruguayan writer Enrique Buchichio
, Leo’s Room
follows Leo (Martin Rodriguez),
an Argentinian college student struggling with his sexuality, who randomly connects with a former classmate who is suffering with depression after the death of a loved one.
His girlfriend dumps him for not “performing” in the bedroom, and ironically, recommends a therapist, which is the start of an emotional evolution in which he seeks connection via the Internet.
Rodriguez wonderfully plays Leo's insecurities. This is a haunted person, indecisive and wrestling with what comes after accepting who you are. Leo assumes he will be hated, but he finds a calm love from his therapist and his mother. Living the truth is not as frightening as he thought. While this is a typical story, Leo's Room
surpasses one experience; the way Buchichio tells the story makes Leo’s Room
palatable versus particular.
The sub-plot involves Caro, played by Cecilia Cosero
, a girl suffering with depression. At times, Caro's story is disposable, taking longer than it should to get off the cinematic ground. Thankfully, toward the end, Caro and Leo somehow tie together, finding comfort in each other.
closes with one of those interpretive endings, where you can't decide if it is lazy script-writing or a fittingly delicate ending for a quiet movie. Nonetheless, if you get a chance to see Leo’s Room
, it’s worth your time to support good independent filmmakers.