Broken Heart Land
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Broken Heart Land is a poignant, inspiring documentary that shows how Nancy Harrington transformed the grief she experienced after her gay son Zack’s suicide into activism. The film chronicles efforts to speak out about her son, join a PFLAG-like group, MOM (Mothers of Many) and campaign for equal rights for LGBT citizens in Norman, Okla., including supporting a City Council race for the openly gay Jackie Farley. This incredibly moving film gets up close and personal with the Harrington family and their supporters—and detractors, as it even-handedly shows the impact one gay young man’s death has on the Bible belt community. —Gary M. Kramer
We Are the Best!
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In his way, the films of Swedish director Lukas Moodysson are as mannered as, for one example, Wes Anderson. Yet where Anderson traffics in a whimsical austerity, Moodysson explores the messier corners of reality. His 2000 masterwork, Together, took place on a commune in 1975. His latest, We Are the Best!, is an ‘80s-set bildungsroman about three female teenage misfits (Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne—all delightful) who form an amateur punk band. Being teenagers, their emotions are mercurial and humorous (to everyone except the girls themselves). When boys enter the picture, the girls’ competitive natures and insecurities flair, with heartbreaking and comical results. Yet in the end, sisterhood prevails, as does the punk aesthetic in Moodysson’s vibrant, entertaining film. —Dan Loughry
Yves Saint Laurent
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Like the clothes made by Yves Saint Laurent, Jalil Lespert’s uneven biopic of the fashion designer is a stylish and elegant production. However, the trio of runway scenes is more entertaining than the relationship drama between Yves (Pierre Niney) and his lover/business partner, Pierre (Guillaume Gallienne). Yves Saint Laurent offers some insights into the designer’s life and work, but a lousy voice-over narration by Pierre, and clunky moments—such as Yves’s drink/drug/sex binges—dilute the film’s power. Despite the film’s commendable job of presenting haute couture, the traditional biopic trajectory feels empty and glossed over at times. —G.M.K.