Podtalk: Director Lukas Dhont on His Oscar Nominated ‘Close’

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CHICAGO – When the 95th Academy Awards nominations were announced, one notable Best International Feature Film honoree was “Close,” a Belgium/Netherlands/France production that also won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The writer/director of the film is 31-year-old Lukas Dhont.

The film involves two boys, Léo (the star making performance of Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (Gustav de Waele) best friends who are idling away the summer hours in love with life and their company with each other. After that magic summer, they both enter middle school, where their friendship is put under scrutiny by the alpha males. They question the nature of the boy’s togetherness, characterizing it as gay. This affects Léo the most, and nothing will the same afterward.

Writer/Director Lukas Dhont in Chicago
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

Lukas Dhont was born in Ghent, Belgium, and began his career as a costume design assistant in film and TV when he was a teenager. He directorial debut was in 2018 with “Girl,” a drama which focused on a transgender girl pursuing a career as a ballerina. “Close” is Dhont’s second feature, and is based on his schools days in his own biography. He was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list in 2019.

In Part One of a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, writer/director Lukas Dhont talks about the themes and connections in “Close” …

In Part Two, costuming in “Close” and his experience at Cannes …

Trailer for “Close” …

”Close” opens in wide release on February 3rd, including Chicago’s Music Box Theatre. Featuring Eden Dambrine, Gustav de Waele, Émilie Dequenne, Léa Drucker and Kevin Janssens. Written and directed by Lukas Dhont. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Critic/Writer

© 2023 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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