REVIEW: The Way He Looks (2014)

Film Poster (Credits: IMDB)

Having watched this film over a month ago now, I quickly came to the conclusion that this film was by far the best LGBT+ themed film that I’d seen. At the closing scene I was left in a strange state of happiness – I was also very excited. No other film, LGBT+ or not had ever left me feeling this way. I must admit I went on Facebook that night and gushed about it both publicly on my Facebook wall and privately in messages to friends.

But as I came to write this review; I had doubts, as any reviewer must before they come to write an overwhelmingly positive review. Was I a bit too excited? Was it really that good; is it even possible for any film to be that good? I studied every review on Amazon and IMDB and realised that I wasn’t alone.

This film really is a masterpiece – everyone agrees, it’s very weird.

This is what Roberto Guerra has to say about the film:

Flawless and sensitive under various aspects…. Few films, national or international, treat sexual manifestation of a teenager with much refining and subtlety is in the whole and not only in the construction of the dramatic character arc. Soundtrack, cinematography, editing and supporting cast work in subtle harmony, but always vibrant.

(please switch on captions for English subtitles)

Set in modern day Brazil, the film revolves around one blind boy, Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo) around fifteen years old and his search for independence. He has one friend Giovanna (Tess Amorim) and together they walk to and from school, swim in Giovanna’s pool and work together on their schoolwork. Gabriel’s (Fabio Audi) appearance changes the dynamics of Leonardo and Giovanna’s friendship as Leonardo finds himself gradually drawn to Gabriel. At the beginning it’s obvious he can’t tell why he’s drawn to Gabriel.

And it comes as a surprise to us (the audience) that people who are blind can feel same-sex sexual attraction and it dawns upon you, “but of course they can.”

The director and writer Daniel Ribeiro truly does an outstanding job.

He makes this film more than just a gay teenage romance. This film presents the very real struggles of being blind along with the desire to be strong alone and not need anyone’s help. It’s about friends and the tension we find ourselves as we slowly fall in love with someone else and drift away from our friends – only to come back to them in the end as if nothing ever changed. It’s about first love; the time first love takes to develop and all the confusion that surrounds it, the blurred lines between friendship and romance. But when Gabriel, in the closing scene, moves his arm out of the arm in arm position he’s in with Leonardo, to a hand in hand as they walk out of school we understand that it’s a sealed deal.

Oh, and did I mention the cinematography makes this an absolutely gorgeous picture to watch?

Our Rating


IMDB Rating


The movie is available on for pre-order and will be screened in the United Kingdom on the 24th of October 2014 and in the United States on the 7th of November 2014. It has already won awards in the Berlin International Film Festival, Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival, the L.A. Outfest, New York, San Francisco and Torino Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals.

Hesham Mashhour

Hesham Mashhour studies Medicine at the University of Cambridge and is our Chief Editor and Director at, “Get Real.,” He is currently the President of 1TQ – the Trinity College LGBT+ society and is also the Trinity College LGBT+ representative. He has written extensively on LGBT+ related issues for The Cambridge Student and Varsity

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