Right on the heels of GLAAD announcing their Media Award nominees, the first images from the upcoming drama I Am Michael have hit the web. The film made headlines a while back when it was announced that the film would feature a threesome between stars James Franco, Zachary Quinto, and Charlie Carver. Will the film's steamy scene overshadow the serious subject matter?
I Am Michael tells the true story of Michael Glatze, a gay activist who publicly renounced his homosexuality following conversion therapy in the mid-2000's. Glatze formerly worked at the twink rag XY before founding the short-lived periodical, Young Gay America where he met his long time partner, Bennett, played by Zachary Quinto. After Glatze denounced his homosexuality, he went on to marry a woman in 2013.
According to Quinto, I Am Michael allows the audience to make up their own mind and doesn't push its message in your face. He says about the film, "It invites you in, it presents you with drama, conflict and emotion, and then it sends you on your way to form your own opinion about something." That's a very interesting stance for a film featuring out actors. One would imagine that the film wouldn't approve of Glatze's self-proclaimed change, but perhaps a neutral stance would make a better film.
Michael debuted at Sundance late last week, and Variety's Peter Debruge described it as "remarkably even-handed" and "admirable in its seeming impartiality." The review also went on to praise the casting of Franco, but wasn't too keen on director Justin Kelly's clinical approach to the material. The Guardian was less kind in its review.
I came across this headline today on The Huffington Post. Sure, it's total clickbait (Carver explained that the room was extremely hot), but does this kind of story undermine the issues brought up in the film? Is it just a ploy to get people interested in seeing it or generating buzz? I feel like this kind of press would get in the way of a film mainly made to create a dialogue. Perhaps if the film is getting bad reviews this is the best way to get people to see it.
I Am Michael is set to play the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.