top of page


CLOSE (2023)

Release Date: 02/10/23 [VOD]
Genre: Drama

Studio: A24

"The intense friendship between two thirteen-year old boys Leo and Remi suddenly gets disrupted. Struggling to understand what has happened, Léo approaches Sophie, Rémi's mother. "Close" is a film about friendship and responsibility." 


It’s not hard to find friends in this world, but it is hard to find good ones. That’s what makes watching the bond between the young characters Léo and Rémi crumble in Lukas Dhont’s Close all the more devastating. 


When we first meet the two, one seemingly perfect Summer in rural Europe, they are inseparable. They play together. They eat together. They sleep together. Despite being growing, hormonal teenage boys, their relationship is devoid of any sexual desire. They’ve built a world away from everyone else that only they understand. But when school starts, judgment from their peers shatters that utopia. Between questions about their complex relationship and the pressure of being thought of as gay, Léo decides to distance himself from Rémi. Just as he begins to move on, an unthinkable tragedy happens that forces him to reflect on the relationship and which challenges his masculinity as a whole.


Close is a quiet film. With so little dialogue, Dhont still manages to find ways for his characters to say so much. For example, in the film’s opening montage, you can visibly see how much Léo devotes himself to comforting Rémi. At times, he won’t even fall asleep until he knows that Rémi is at peace. When school starts, however, and their classmates begin to make comments about their friendship, he begins to disregard Rémi. He no longer walks to school with him. They no longer eat lunch together. While Dhont goes out of his way to show the audience that they still sit right next to each other in their homeroom class, it’s too late. They’ve gone from being close to being closed off. 


While it’s sad to see their relationship come to an end, nothing is as sad as seeing Léo come to the realization of his mistake much too late. Now, while the first half of the film shows us the rise and fallout of the boys’ relationship, the second half acts as a reminder of how little everything else matters without someone to share it with. It’s this exact understanding of what boundless true love looks like that makes the film so profound. 


Is the film perfect? No, but it’s pretty close (pun intended). There are some symbolic sequences and imagery that are a little too on-the-nose. For instance, Léo spends chunks of the film helping his family on their farm. Throughout the film, we see the crops wither and then grow back parallel to Léo’s zest for life. Additionally, the major tragedy that happens at the halfway point of the film isn’t presented in the best way. Then again, some may argue that there is no right or wrong way to explore some of the film’s subject matter. 

Nevertheless, the way Close captures the beauty of love and innocence needs to be applauded.  As Léo and Rémi prove, we only get to experience both elements at the same time - for a short time. It’s a powerful and universal truth that no one ever thinks about. As Dhont beautifully underlines in the film, however, if we don’t get to realize it in the moment we might spend the rest of our lives out of touch.

image0 (4)_edited.jpg


bottom of page