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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 15 February 2012
That is the films strapline and is quite a good synopsis of where this film is coming from. It stars Murray Bartlett (Farscape) as Troy. He has been off for a number of years working in Barcelona, but now he has returned to Los Angeles and discovers to his consternation that his ex boyfriend is seeing someone else. This is Jonathan (Daniel Dugan) and he is going out with a hunky Latino Raul (Adrian Gonzales).

Troy arranges to meet Jonathan for `a coffee' (that old chestnut) and it is clear from the get go that there are still strong feelings between them. Raul arrives and immediately puts his helmet on the table (he has come by scooter in case you thought it was getting smutty) and breaks up the coffee date before anything develops. Jon has helped Raul stay in the country by arranging a marriage of convenience and they clearly have affection for one another but have yet to commit to living together. As the summer temperatures rise, so does the obvious sexual tension and Raul decides to push things to an ultimate conclusion.

This is described as `a languorous, lyrical exploration of love split three ways'. Whilst I tend to agree it also hints at what some may find problematic and that is that `lyrical' often translates as slow, this film does take its time, but I didn't really think that was an issue. Much of the plot development is subtle in that we have meaningful looks and words left unspoken or hanging in the air. When `action' does come it acts to break the spell like a kind of release valve of emotions.

What this is also is a tale of missed opportunities and of taking loved ones for granted. Troy comes across as more than a little self centred and yet is at the same time vulnerable and likeable. There are some bedroom scenes but it is all pretty tame and works with the narrative rather than being put in for petty gratification. It is filmed using a number of techniques including the shaky hand cam that is starting to lose any novelty it once possessed, but the film does not suffer for it - it most certainly does not gain either.

This 100 minute film is from director Eldar Rapaport who has made two award winning shorts `Post Mortem' and `Steam' -both included as extras. They have been available before and are featured on `Boys on Film 4', and there is a `behind the scenes' too. One of the more thoughtful gay films to come out recently so if you like the raunchier end of the spectrum this may not be for you, I thought it was a well acted, directed and confident film and as such enjoyed the journey.
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on 10 April 2012
It must be said upfront that this movie is an adaption of the relatively successful short-film "Postmortem", which is featured on Boys On Film 4 - Protect Me From What I Want [DVD] [2010], and which like the title of the collection is all about protecting people from what they want but really should not have. The short-film in essence seeks to explore what motivates our connections to another person (lover), and how in many instances despite what we know to be best for ourselves, we continue to make selfish and destructive life choices. The film is similar, except for a more substantive exploration of the dynamic between three characters, one of whom seems determined to ignore what is best for him.

Troy is the archetype of selfish desire, who despite being aware of his impact on the lives of others, seems determined to get his own way in all matters that benefit him. Even if this means upsetting the lives of those his loves, the first his ex Jonathan and the second being his brother. Good looking and accomplished he seems to be able to weave and manipulate his way into the lives of those around him, taking a great deal more than he actually gives. His brother who sees through his narcism, at one stage asks Troy what he actually wants in life, to which he receives no real answer. This is what makes Troy's return to California (having worked in Barcelona for several years) all the more painful, as he has no real idea of what he wants, but for a casual longing for his ex. He asks Jonathan to meet with him upon his return, knowing full well the power he has over him. What results is neither unexpected nor unplanned, as Troy seems determined to have his way despite the consequences. Not that Jonathan is innocent in this matter, and his own choices make for some frustrating and annoying viewing. Raul his new boyfriend, who has made the decision to immigrate to the the USA so that he and Jonathan can be together, seems to be a hopeless casualty in Jonathan's misplaced emotions. He is acutely aware of what is happening, but is impotent to do anything about it. Ultimately he forced to make a decision, which ordinarily he would be loathed to do.

The acting is particularly good, with two strong performances from Murray Bartlett (Troy) and Adrian Gonzales (Raul). The supporting cast is also very strong with two very really good performances from Brad Stanley (Devon) and Bernhard Forcher (Sean). Devon is yet another casualty of Troy's hedonism, although like Jonathan seems incapable of extraditing himself from his influence or presence. Sean as his brother is conflicted between his love for Troy, and his personal distaste for the man he has become.

One of my criticisms is that the film is extremely long, and takes far too much time to get to the crux of the matter. Ironic considering that the basic premise is an adaption from a short-film, designed to get its message across rather quickly. Accordingly, the film could have done with better editing, and some carefully constructed direction concentrating more on the dynamic between Raul and Jonathan. It is really these two characters which could have better conveyed the story, with Troy's character being relatively well established early in the film.

It is however, encouraging to see GLBT cinema becoming more concerned with the its story and characters, and avoiding the cheap, stereotypical nonsense endemic in many of the films that have sought to identify and portray this important genre. Although in my opinion French GLBT cinema still excels in this regard, with One Two Another [DVD] being an excellent example of this theme.
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on 6 September 2014
After watching it several times I feel it was something of a long waste of a film. Strange that in the bed scenes, mostly the actors are not naked. Is it a problem with American films?
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on 11 May 2014
It's not quite what we were expecting having watched the trailer. It feels a little like we're not going anywhere, and sets up a few 'tricks' which don't get followed up on or repetaed enough (listen to the radio weather report...)
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on 2 March 2017
Interesting
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on 14 September 2014
Did not see it
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on 15 October 2014
I keep trying to watch it and can't.
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on 30 July 2012
Now and then along comes a film that is far more adventuresome than the PR suggests and such is the case of the very well constructed AUGUST. Written and directed by Eldar Rapaport (with Brian Sloan) this is a hard look at love relationships and how the test of time influences the success or failure of commitment. The choice of title reflects the generated heat of contentious relationships and just happens to be set in the time of the infamous Station Fire in Southern California in 2009, the largest and deadliest of the multiple wildfires, burning 160,577 acres (or 251 square miles), destroying countless homes, and killing two firefighters - a time when the Los Angeles basin was without electricity, full of smoke and ashes, and all nerves were on edge regarding the carnage.

Jonathan (Daniel Dugan) and Raul (Adrian Gonzalez) are a contented couple: though they live separately (Raul has married Jonathan's best friend Nina - Hilary Banks - for immigration purposes so they must maintain separate homes) they are devoted to each other and Raul is in the process of planning Jonathan's 30th birthday party. As an unexpected development Troy (Murray Bartlett), Jonathan's ex-boyfriend who has been living in Spain for several years after a painful breakup, arrives in Los Angeles at the height of the heat wave and moves in with his married brother Sean (Bernhard Forcher) and family. Troy calls Jonathan, arranges a meeting for coffee but is sure that Raul will enter the coffee shop to demonstrate the Jonathan is in a committed relationship. But old flames simmer and soon Troy is convincing the not unwilling Jonathan to rekindle their old passion, a liaison that becomes apparent to Raul. At Jonathan's 30th birthday party Nina and her chef boyfriend Nick (Mike Vaughn) invite Troy and Troy's good friend Devon (Brad Standley), and by the end of the evening the group hits the bars to smoke pot and drink. Raul then invites Troy to their home to join Jonathan and him in a physical liaison that results in Troy's `wakeup call' about commitment as he sees the degree of passion between Raul and Jonathan: Troy as an outsider steps away and eventually returns to Spain - but we never know what will occur next.

AUGUST is blessed with a very fine cast of excellent actors who are able to pull off the intimacy of the story with decorum. There are some problems with the film: the director loses the audience with what feels like inadvertent non-linear storyline that disrupts the flow of the story, and the editor of the film David Au has cut and spliced the film in a disturbing and distracting manner. The musical score by Yuval Ron is heated Middle Eastern in flavor and at times covers the dialogue. But the story works in large part because of the exceptional acting and appeal of Murray Bartlett, Daniel Dugan, and Adrian Gonzalez. As the PR states, ` It is an irresistible gay romantic drama!' Grady Harp, July 12
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on 5 October 2012
Jonathan, a shortish, homely-ish, 29-year-old, minimally employed nebbish in LA, has a tall, gorgeous (but shallow and manipulative), 40-ish ex-boyfriend, Troy - who dumped him five years earlier but for some reason has moved back from Barcelona just to get him back. BUT... Jonathan has an even MORE gorgeous (breathtakingly gorgeous) twentysomething current boyfriend, Raul - who is not only gorgeous but sweet, strong, sincere and totally devoted to him. Right away you say to yourself, this is just like real life, just like me and the two incredible hunks who can't get enough of me. What's a homely nebbish girl to do? That's the dilemma in this movie that I really wanted to hate but can't.

It's the actors' fault: they're very, very good - TOO good for this unbelievable story. Unfortunately, the weakest actor is the one playing Jonathan, who brings no sensuality or charisma or other hot quality to the role to compensate for his nebbishy homeliness and explain WHY the two hunks are so irresistibly attracted to him.

He was much more believable in Postmortem, the short this movie is based on (available on the compilation DVD Boys On Film 4). Opposite the same actor as Troy (but a much less gorgeous actor as Raul, in an almost negligible role), he was sexy, and the attraction between him and Troy in Postmortem was palpable and totally believable; it's not in this movie (but Postmortem was set in sexy, dynamic NYC, not in sterile, boring LA, which may have a lot to do with it).

Self-defeating compulsion is the only motivation either Jonathan or Troy shows in this movie, which may be intentional. August is a lot grittier and more complex (and therefore more interesting) than Postmortem was, which is why I'm giving it three stars despite the lackluster performance by Daniel Dugan in the key role as Jonathan. He was great playing the same character in Postmortem, but he'd lost the fire or something when August was made; since that character is central in the story, August suffers for it.
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on 18 February 2012
You have just got to watch this film. The sexual tension and emotions just scream out of the television. Its well scripted and the actors are brilliant in their parts. For those who have ever been torn by a love triangle, this is for you. Good or bad whatever your situation it spins a new dimension in how you can deal with it.....if you dare!
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