[Film Review] Prayers for Bobby (2009)

Title: Prayers for Bobby
Year: 2009
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Writer: Kate Ford
based on the book by Leroy Aarons
Music: Christopher Ward
Cinematography: Thom Best
Sigourney Weaver
Ryan Kelley
Henry Czerny
Austin Nichols
Carly Schroeder
Scott Bailey
Rebecca Louise Miller
Susan Ruttan
Dan Butler
Lee Garlington
Shannon Eagen
Marshall McClean
Madge Levinson
Rating: 7.7/10

A Lifetime TV film, chronicling a catholic mother’s poignant and heartening journey towards her son’s coming-out (a turning point when her son commits suicide), evoking a radical turnaround from abomination to fully support for LGBT rights. From director Russell Mulcahy (SWIMMING UPSTREAM 2003), this film is based on a true story of Mary Griffith, a fervent gay rights crusader from 1980s.

The story itself has offered a great amount of trauma and struggle enough to render empathetic impact, while gayness and religion are always ignitable when colliding head-to-head, so more or less, it all replies on the actors, how to make the thorny issue heartfelt and if it could, eventually, more or less alters a portion of its viewers’ discrimination towards people with dichotomy lifestyles. Weaver is unflinchingly valiant to keep the film firmly under her grasp, her religion-defying speech and the rain night confession sequences are contagiously affecting and harrowing (much indebted to a well-written script). Ryan Kelley, who plays the titular son, is marvellous as well, very much captures the vulnerability and the pinpoint disillusion of a partisan world. Both sneak into my top 10 ranking of BEST LEADING ACTRESS and BEST S. ACTOR (respectively) of 2009.

Mulcahy, may not have too much to display since the approach and message are quite overt, for instance, a marked metaphoric scene when Weaver is informed of Bobby’s death at the entrance of the factory where she is working, a literal wire fence has obstructed herself from getting out (so she is the one who is being trapped within her own world), a very pragmatic and effective way in case viewers would fail to notice. There are quite a few enlightening defense about gay issue in the Bible, unfortunately it is out of my territory to expound, but I dare to surmise a main point is that arbitrary interpretation is the cancer of the region misappropriation.

The film is a true tearjerker and should be recommended to anyone regardless of his or her religious belief and sexual predilection, which means much more than the film itself, it is a leap-of-faith progress in the human history, when the world is divided by conflicting beliefs, only love and virtue is the Messiah could unit us together, and what’s more important, each and every one of us has it inside, which is the only antes of our species to survive within the vast galaxy.

Oscar 2009 - Prayers for Bobby

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