Inside us all is the person we need to be.
Young teenager Charlie has talent to burn on the football pitch. Top clubs want to sign up the soccer prodigy. Dad is eager, too. But the golden boy has other dreams. And when Charlie makes a big splash by coming out as transgender, the resulting ripples spread far beyond his family.
Low-budget British indie film Just Charlie tackles the delicate subject of gender dysphoria with great sensitivity and grace. Director Rebekah Fortune, working from a script by Peter Machen, gets a terrific performance from 14-year-old Harry Gilby in the lead role.
But what makes the film work so well is that all the main characters – including Charlie’s supportive mother (Patricia Potter) and sympathetic sister (Elinor Machen-Fortune) - are given prickly complexity. Indeed, the emotional journey taken by Charlie’s father, played by Scot Williams, is just as turbulent, in its own way, as that taken by the transgender teenager.
Certificate 15. Runtime 97 mins. Director Rebekah Fortune
Just Charlie debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 16 April.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.