Last night I had the pleasure of attending the BFI Flare screening of Miles, the new coming-of-age comedy/drama directed by Nathan Adloff.
Miles is the lead character of this heartwarming tale which is somewhat autobiographical of the director, telling the courageous story of a smalltown boy, who has big dreams of getting out of his narrow-minded, traditional town in Illinois and moving to Chicago to pursue a degree in filmmaking.
What this story isn’t about though is the inevitable coming out – not the plot line here. You see Miles has already come out, it’s really no big deal to his friends and family. In fact, most people at his school are cool with it too. However that “down with it” 1999 attitude is challenged when Miles decides to pursue a volleyball scholarship (because dad spent all his college money on a corvette for a tramp) which means he has to join the girls volleyball team. That’s when everyone in the town starts to freak out about gender politics, creating a riff in Miles plan to get the scholarship and get the hell out of dodge.
Why is it good? I really enjoyed Miles. As is the case with a lot of gay men, we usually do come from small towns, often displaced from the safety of our gay sanctuary cities and it’s these struggles that ultimately we have to prevail through – it’s also compelling storytelling. I’m not gonna lie, I shed a few tears last night as the sentiment of this film really hit home – it’s very relatable to the most core of LGBT audiences.
With fantastic performances by Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser, Missi Pyle (the films strongest standout supporting performance as the volleyball coach) and even an appearance by Yeardley Smith (the film is full of Simpson’s references) and a convincing first feature performance by the talented Tim Boardman, I can highly recommend Miles as a fine addition to your must-see film queue.
I can’t wait to watch Miles again as soon as it lands on-demand.
More from BFI Flare:
Check out Phil Marriott’s and Katherine Ellis’ video review of BFI Flare selection After Louie