Your Eyes On Me ***
Starring: Paul Stone, Jean-Philippe Boriau, Niamh Sullivan
Starring: Sergei Alexander
As seasoned drag queen Gloria (Stone) prepares to hang up her high heels and pass the baton to a younger generation, she encounters Kandi (Boriau) a new queen originally from France who is yet to find her feet. Taking her under her wing, the two discover they have a lot more in common than they bargained for as their relationship develops beyond just a drag mother and her daughter.
Set in and around Gloria’s nightclub, we see a bond develop between the two queens. It’s questionable what the older queen sees in Kandi, who is bandy-legged and doe-eyed, but in her pre-drag life as Alex, he was a dancer. Jean-Philippe Boriau instils vulnerability into the young man who is exploring his sexuality, gender and artistic expression for the very first time. While Paul Stone’s Gloria has the poise of a veteran stalwart, it’s the softening of her façade through her subsequent motherliness that makes this dynamic work, even if the lines become very blurred as the film continues.
The narrative stumbles into some pretty risqué territory in its final act. For a film that is relatively innocuous for the most part, eyebrows will absolutely be raised by this about turn. There’s a fairly massive moral debate surrounding what they show, as well as the film’s denouement. It’s handled with tact, for sure, but many will struggle with its resolution. It’s a bold choice to throw something that big that late at its audience as it’s something the entire film could have revolved around (and would probably have been stronger for it). But instead it’s used as a final plot twist, which feels a little overblown.
With its high-gloss finish and a stellar performance from Boriau, this British indie has plenty going for it. Subtle it is not, and maybe a bit lacking on the “fabulous” for a movie about drag queens, but it’s a fun little movie totally worth checking out.
OUT NOW TO WATCH ON DEMAND ON THE UK FILM CHANNEL.