The often funny and sexy story of a successful — if creatively unsatisfied — graphic designer dealing with the return of an ex-boyfriend to his life, Lazy Eye satisfies the same aesthetic desire as a chamber drama for the stage, while being told through a precisely controlled naturalism that’s entirely cinematic.
What results is an intimately scaled film with two fully realized and human leads, played effectively by Lucas Near-Verbrugghe (as Dean) and Aaron Costa Ganis (as Alex). While the dramatic conflict between the two men unfolds in a slightly unwieldy fashion, with occasional bumpy narrative exposition, the actors handle their roles deftly.
Notably, in an era in which sexual content in film and television so often is included for the purpose of making unsexy points about objectification, the sexual chemistry between the two leads is off the charts. Writer-director Tim Kirkman has a keen eye for gesture and posture, and their complicated relationship with interiority (and in one lengthy, illuminative flashback, he proves adept at handling the unreliability of memory).
Unifying everything is Dean being diagnosed, in the first scene, with a lazy eye. It’s a condition, as it turns out, he arguably could have prevented by taking earlier action, and his new glasses deliberately force him to look at everything differently. It’s literarily as on the nose as a pair of glasses, but Lazy Eye transcends its limitations to become an affecting and emotionally honest drama.
Written and directed by Tim Kirkman
Breaking Glass Pictures
Opens November 11, Cinema Village
Available on demand