Dunno about you, but for me 13 was the worst. Everything was confusing and awkward and lonely and humiliating and uninhibited and oppressive all at once, and the noisy sweatbox that was junior high school cranked every negative emotion up to 13. Our mandatory classroom viewings of the “changing bodies” video were two years earlier — laughable and boring, outdated and technically informative compared to The Talk that some of us never heard at home. With all the peer pressure and social panic, the misery and self-loathing, the cliques ruling the open spaces and the nerds staking claim on the deserted corners…honestly, it’s a wonder we as a species ever make it to 14.
Not much has changed. Teens gonna teen. Society hasn’t found the cure for puberty. Big Pharma might have tools to procrastinate it, and various addictions might drown out its screams, but sooner or later it comes for us. Anyone with their defenses down when it hits is doomed, which was pretty much all of us. From Belgium’s version of the life phase I miss least, director/co-writer Lukas Dhont brings us together with Close, one of this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best International Feature, which just reached Indianapolis theaters last weekend and broke every heart that ventured out for the occasion.