Porcupine Lake – Movie Review: A Wonderful Coming-Of-Age Story
While having a selection of movies positively depicting queer stories with grownup casts is appreciated, having titles featuring younger queer characters is important, too. Porcupine Lake is a lovely and heartwarming coming-of-age story which shows two young girls becoming more than just friends over a summer holiday.
I was provided a free screener of Porcupine Lake by Breaking Glass Pictures for review. The opinions are my own.
The story from director/screenwriter Ingrid Veninger focuses on Bea (Charlotte Salisbury) and her friendship with Kate (Lucinda Armstrong Hall) over the summer. Bea and her mom Ally drive away from Toronto to meet up with father/husband Scotty. You can tell Bea’s parents are dealing with certain issues. Ally wants the family to go back to Toronto while Scotty wants them to stay and help run a small diner he inherited.
Furthermore, Bea is someone who faints easily when scared. Scotty is more willing to give Bea the space she needs as a young teenager while Ally tries to control Bea. Our protagonist has clearly lived a sheltered life and things change a lot for her when Kate enters the picture.
Kate is very different from Bea. She comes across as more of a survivor, someone who had to grow up early because of environment she was born in. The two girls strike a friendship that progresses into something more as Kate makes Bea try new things in her life. From Kate’s perspective, she is teaching Bea important life lessons even if she comes across as forceful in her methods.
Now, I understand if some of you are of the opinion Kate and Bea’s relationship isn’t healthy. Some of you might think Kate’s being a bully. However, I don’t think Veninger intended their relationship to come across as such. To me, it looked like two young girls trying to find comfort in each other because of the issues they had to deal with at home and the circumstances around them. Also, I think Kate’s more assertive personality in their relationship has to do with her thinking of Bea as a child, someone whom Kate can help breakaway from a closed off life.
The pacing of the film isn’t an issue and like usual summer flings, I found myself wishing it would run just a bit longer. Both young actresses did an amazing job of shouldering the movie and allowing the audience to feel invested in their journey. I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel and catching up with Bea and Kate at an older age.
Have you watched Porcupine Lake? Let us know.
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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