Clementine

Director: Lara Jean Gallagher
2019 | USA | 93m
GENRE: Drama | Latinx | Lesbian | Mystery/Thriller
SECTION: Showcase | US Feature
Expected Guests: Director Lara Jean Gallagher, Actor Otmara Marrero, Cinematographer Andres Karu, Composer Katy Jarzebowski

A serene rural lake is the setting for the aftermath of a messy breakup in this gorgeously shot, minimalist melodrama. Karen (Otmara Marrero), the cast-aside muse of an older successful artist, invades her ex’s lake house in order to lick her wounds and torment herself with happy memories. However, a chance encounter with Lana (Sharp Objects’ breakout star Sydney Sweeney), the baby-faced blonde from across the lake, distracts Karen from her woes and brings her into a world neither woman could have anticipated.

Lana thinks Karen is the height of sophistication, and Karen experiments with a bit of role reversal: giving lessons instead of receiving them. Swimming together, braiding each other’s hair, and applying makeup, the two women turn Karen’s despairing visit into a kind of escapist summer camp. However, every seemingly peaceful scene also hints at darker currents beneath the lake’s smooth surface. A gun in a drawer, an endlessly ringing phone, and a handyman’s warnings all lend an unsettling quality to this deceptively quiet and unsettling queer potboiler which premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

— MONICA NOLAN

SPONSORED BY
HBO

CO-PRESENTED BY
Consulate of Spain in San Francisco

  • Premiere Status: West Coast