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The Blossoming Of Maximo Oliveros Review

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A gay youngster in Manila is caught between his shady family and his affection for a local cop.

★★★★★

This is an unexpectedly touching tale that tackles the taboo topic of adolescent sexuality with admirable restraint. The harsh realities of Manila create a stark backdrop for the conspicuous campness of tweenager Nathan Lopez, whose cosy relationships with his shady father and thuggish brothers are compromised when he gets a crush on the new cop on the block.

The quasi-religious nature of Lopez’s adoration tempers any innocent eroticism, but director Auraeus Solito allows the action to become increasingly melodramatic after sibling Neil Ryan Sese murders a student.

Ably capturing the vibrant amorality of its Manila setting, this touching, but ultimately melodramatic rite of passage is dominated by the camp innocence of its tweenage star.

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