The primary draw on the floor of writer-director Marco Calvani’s pretty if overly dramatic function debut is the jaw-dislocating bodily fantastic thing about its star. That may sound crass, however “Excessive Tide” is a film that dares you to not be obsessive about — and interested in — its main man. Actor Marco Pigossi, Calvani’s real-life companions, enters the primary body as if sculpted out of marble, or butter even, stripping all the way down to nothing and dashing into the ocean off a desolate nude seaside alongside Provincetown, Massachusetts, in a spin of anguish.

The chilly open is a bookend “Excessive Tide” will return to at its climax. It’s additionally a cold plunge right into a baptismal, hoped-for catharsis for Lourenço (Pigossi), a Brazilian immigrant with an expiring vacationer visa reeling from a sudden breakup and now caught in america, hoping to remain there. Bereft and deserted by his unseen American ex because the summer time nears its finish, Lourenço spends the canine days alone in a guesthouse owned by a homosexual, retired Cape Cod property proprietor named Scott (Invoice Irwin), who loves gardening and cooking Italian on his personal. Lourenço is haunted by the life and mom he left behind in Brazil, and the injuries of solely lately coming into his personal pores and skin as a now-out homosexual man. An outline of Jesus is tacked above his rented mattress.

Love Lies Bleeding
We Were Dangerous

Lourenço works as a part-time Airbnb housekeeper for Bob (Sean Mahon), a neighborhood who has a stick up his ass always. At night time, Lourenço is both having quiet, contemplative talks with Scott — who has a preexisting friendship with Lourenço’s ex — or participating in meaningless sexual encounters. A type of encounters borders on sexual assault in a means that will probably be all too acquainted to this film’s audience, and it leaves Lourenço fearful about HIV publicity and searching for PrEP for the primary time.

“Excessive Tide” is frank and sincere concerning the usually debasing mundanities of homosexual life within the PrEP period; one minute you’re getting pounded by an ideal stranger, and the following you’re sitting in a clinic underneath sterile brilliant lights and explaining your self to a blank-faced nurse. However the movie actually soars when Lourenço forges a brand new romantic connection when he meets a Black vacationer at a nude seaside. His identify is Maurice (James Bland), and his chemistry with Lourenço is so fast that “Excessive Tide” finds itself drifting into “Earlier than Dawn” territory as these two get to know one another over a dinner that segues right into a bacchanalian seaside occasion that options an look from “Tangerine” breakout Mya Taylor (how we’ve missed her!), and later some sophisticated intercourse full with positioning queries and pillow speak turned mistaken.

Even mussed to hell after a protracted night time, Pigossi has the kind of gorgeously flowing head of hair that makes you blush — and possibly lunge for some Propecia meds. Lourenço’s pervasive unhappiness, punctuated by jags of remorse over the ex who left him behind to return to Brazil (in addition to his discomfort over simply popping out of the closet), is its personal kind of horny unhappy. However the energy of Calvani’s path and Pigossi’s efficiency is that they conspire to look beneath Lourenço’s very lovely outsides and into his advanced — equally lovely — interiors.

The nuances of Pigossi’s efficiency solely deepen because the film rolls on, together with his comprehensible stiffness throughout a dinner hosted by Scott with a bitchy, out-of-touch lawyer (Bryan Batt, who performed the infamously not-out Sterling Cooper worker Salvatore on “Mad Males”), whom Scott thinks may assist Lourenço along with his authorized troubles. The stoking flash of lust between Lourenço and Maurice is one of the best a part of the entire package deal, palpably scorching, the sounds of cicadas whining within the backdrop, as Calvani — taking pictures on location in Cape Cod — evokes the textures of a time and place in a city descended upon by gays, lots of whom are marooned every summer time in a method or one other.

“Excessive Tide” displays that drift by means of its gently lulling tempo, which is comfy to languish within the movie’s characters and scenic magnificence (“The Killing of Two Lovers” cinematographer Oscar Ignacio Jiménez is adept at capturing each). However Calvani makes the traditional first-time filmmaker mistake of piling up the melodramas within the movie’s last third quite than merely trusting his personal good, small story. “Excessive Tide” skirts on the native racism posed to Maurice because the film additionally touches on the suspense Lourenço experiences over his stalled makes an attempt to safe a piece visa within the States. These points casually float across the film till they subsume the movie in its last third, which additionally includes a showdown with Lourenço’s employer Bob and his artist spouse, performed by Marisa Tomei, who’s simply left Bob for a lady. It’s loads. The dramas between Tomei’s character and her ex-husband appear so sideline in comparison with the precise ones transferring Lourenço’s story ahead — his hang-ups over his ex, his time-constrained connection to Maurice — and so they finally solely exist to get the film to its Hollywood Ending-adjacent conclusion, even with some acceptable ambiguity intact. Nevertheless it’s that ambiguity “Excessive Tide” already dwelt finest in.

That stated, there may be loads of filmmaking promise right here, in addition to some scorching however achingly melancholic chemistry on display screen that ought to appeal to pageant audiences — and particularly the gays in these audiences searching for savvy and particular romances on display screen. What I want for this movie is that it had trusted the lilting rhythms of its personal preliminary story extra confidently quite than a crash into varied melodramatic episodes within the finale that solely serve to get us to a hurtled-toward cathartic ending. Very like the one Lourenço appears to be hoping for when he sprints bare into the ocean firstly.

Grade: B-

“Excessive Tide” premiered on the 2024 SXSW Movie & TV Pageant. It’s at the moment searching for U.S. distribution.

Leave a Reply