TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘Below Her Mouth’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2016 by - August 30, 2016
TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘Below Her Mouth’

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A cynical, guarded 20-something pushes away love for sex, while a seemingly happily-engaged professional feels something important, powerful, is missing. When the two meet, romantic and passionate sparks abound.

It’s a love story that sounds familiar – and indeed, much of the beats and rhythms, including some rather uninspired dialogue, are quite routine when it comes to this romantic drama. Still, Below Her Mouth, triumphs in a few important ways that overshadow its sweet niceness.

Canadian director April Mullen leads an all-female crew for this lesbian love story, one that before than any film in memory employs the female gaze in telling its romantic, sensual, and sexual tale between two women.

Swedish model-turned-actress Erika Linder is Dallas, a somewhat temperamental young woman who has a few wild swings of emotion. She meets Jasmine (Natalie Krill) at a moment of weakness and curiosity. Dallas’ pursuit finds Jasmine relenting, and a whirlwind weekend (while the fiance is away) occurs full of passionate sex, honest moments of tenderness, and all excitement and awkwardness that comes with first falling for someone new.

Filmed with a beautiful glow and featuring explicit sex and vulnerable performances, the important and novel of Below Her Mouth bests that which is much more mediocre. Let’s avoid making the comparison to Blue Is the Warmest Colour, too. If anything, Below Her Mouth wants to point out vital questions: are there only but a handful of mainstream lesbian stories worth referencing? And doesn’t it make sense to have women make it?

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Anthony is a lover of a good story in any form, on any subject. Tirelessly navigating filmdom, he is equal parts an unbridled idealist and stubborn curmudgeon, trying to strike a balance between head and heart when it comes to pop culture. He pens stories about television, music, the environment, lifestyles, and all things noteworthy and peculiar.