by Stephen A Russell
It’s been a very starry year for the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, what with Andrew ‘Hot Priest’ Scott and Normal People lead Paul Mescal in All of Us Strangers, Hacks scene-stealer Megan Stalter in Cora Bora, and lesbian rock legends the Indigo Girls cameoing in dramatic feature Glitter & Doom and centre stage in doco It’s Only Life After All.
But the spotlight always shines brightest on Spanish superstar Penélope Cruz, who pops up in Italian filmmaker and trans man Emanuele Crialese’s lush, ‘70s Rome-set period piece. She plays a mum struggling in an abusive relationship who channels all of her joy into dancing with her kids.
But L’Immensita’s really all about magnetic newcomer Luana Giuliani, who plays Adri, a teenager coming of age in a long hot summer who does not fit into the gender binary in a time when the conversation was still so far behind. Watching them defiantly blossom is brilliant.
L’Immensita screens at Melbourne Queer Film Festival Sunday 19 November