Plot: “Ned and Conor are forced to share a bedroom at their boarding school. The loner and the star athlete at this rugby-mad school form an unlikely friendship until it’s tested by the authorities.” (imdb.com)
Director: John Butler
Stars: Andrew Scott, Fionn O’Shea, Nicholas Galitzine
Handsome Devil is a coming-of-age film about two boys in an Irish boarding school. Ned (Fionn O’Shea) is a sensitive boy who is bullied by the school’s rugby players for being different. Conor (Nicholas Galitzine) is a new student; he was kicked out of his old school for fighting and he is an excellent rugby player. On the outside, these two boys seem to have nothing in common; one of them is a scrawny, artistically inclined boy with no interest in sports and the other one is an athletic rugby superstar. They are forced to share a room and even though they do not seem to be getting along at the beginning, they soon become close friends.
Andrew Scott plays the role of the boys’ kind and inspirational English teacher, Dan Sherry. He is the one who urges them to be themselves, but seems like he is unable to take his own advice and be himself. Andrew Scott’s character delivers one of the most memorable and important lines of the film, in my opinion, and it’s this: “Never, ever, ever use a borrowed voice. You’re all individual! You spend your whole life being someone else, who’s gonna be you?”
Great performances by the two young men, Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine. I don’t believe I have to say anything about how good Andrew Scott’s acting was. I’m glad more and more people start to appreciate him for his other roles because he is so much more than just Moriarty in Sherlock. If you, like myself, were one of those lucky people to have seen him as Hamlet this year then you know what I mean.
You will probably spot quite a few familiar tropes in the film, such as: the nerdy, bullied outsider, the closeted gay athlete, the homophobic coach, the inspirational English teacher. I didn’t feel like the film explored Conor’s sexuality as much as it could have, I would’ve liked to see more of that. Because of this, I wasn’t sure if I should categorise Handsome Devil as LGBT+ on my blog; I did it anyway because it includes at least two gay characters. In conclusion, it was a pleasant and interesting film to watch and I really enjoyed it!