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New York Film Festival 2012: Bwakaw
New York Film Festival 2012: Bwakaw

Bwakaw: New York Film Festival 2012

Filipino superstar Eddie Garcia is superb as the cranky, self-loathing protagonist of Jun Lana’s melancholy comedy. Rene is an over-70 gay man who came...

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Filipino superstar Eddie Garcia is superb as the cranky, self-loathing protagonist of Jun Lana’s melancholy comedy. Rene is an over-70 gay man who came out late in life and antagonizes almost everyone he meets. His only true friend is the eponymous canine—probably the cutest stray you’ve ever seen, with her matted golden fur and gentle demeanor. Already you may be having cringing visions of man-and-pet sentimentality. But even as the expected challenges to the duo’s contentment arise, Lana expertly avoids treacle, thanks to the unhurried pace, which deepens our sense of the rural locale and Rene’s fragile place in it. Also adding to the emotional truthfulness is Garcia’s expressively stony face, marked with Atlas-like world-weariness.—Keith Uhlich

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