Bloomington (2010)

Jackie: "What's the reversal of self-denial?"
By Fernanda Cardoso
With Allison McAtee and Sarah Stouffer

While I was browsing some of my favorite LGBT movies for a list a while ago, I realized Bloomington came up as a similar film for a few of them. I checked it out then but it's only recently that I decided to give it a go.

The film tells the story of Jackie, a child actor who is now in her early 20's and giving college a try. She decided to move from Los Angeles to the East Coast in order to make a break in the film and TV industry. She has trouble making friends because they ask her about the show she was on and don't seem necessarily interested in simply knowing her, but eventually she attracts the attention of Catherine, a young psychology teacher with a reputation. The two of them embark on an affair, but pressures from the movie industry as well as school policies might have the best of it.

I found Bloomington disappointing. The story was off to a fairly good start, the idea was good but it didn't develop fully. Ironically, the movie deals with psychology, but it is clearly what lacks from the characters, we don't know much about them or the reasoning behind their actions. The total isolation of the two main characters, one being a wealthy orphan and the other having difficult relationships with her family, makes it so that we focus on them, but we aren't sure what to really focus on. The weight they both give the relationship is just as blurry. The filming is not that great either, it felt like a TV movie at times, but the scenes between Jackie and Catherine are the best. The actresses having surprisingly engaging chemistry, even when they are not together. Besides this, there isn't much to learn from Bloomington and we don't know much about what will happen either.

I liked: The two main actresses. The initial development of the story.

I disliked: Doesn't stand up for anything in particular. Unclear relationship. Superficial.

If you want to see a movie about a same-sex teacher-student relationship, I'd say watch Loving Annabelle (2006) it holds the same elements as Bloomington but it is done with a lot more class and is more convincing. Bloomington is sweet but unmemorable.


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