Revenge of the Fairies

12.28.2008

By Shana Naomi Krochmal

When Timothy is cast as Puck, the eternal scene-stealer of 'that Shakesqueer crap,' as one kid calls it, he is urged by his trouble-making English teacher (Twin Peaks' amazing Wendy Robie) to tap into the power of the pansy, recreating Midsummer's love potion. He turns Jonathon queer -- along with everyone else in town -- and the giddy new boyfriends delight in sweet kisses and tender touches. (Though cowriter and director Tom Gustafson complains that most indie gay cinema is 'first and foremost all about naked boys, but the audience is smarter than that,' the movie's stunning cinematography doesn't shy away from lingering on its actors' forms.)

As in the play, "the course of true love never did run smooth," and Puck's imprecise magic quickly leads to chaos. But even amidst the madness, Cohen's bold performance proves it's the boy in the lace wings who's calling the shots. 'Tanner is so confident and eccentric at the same time,' says Gustafson.

'He knows there are ramifications to his open sexuality,' Cohen says of his character. 'It's a pretty simple choice. You can either cry about it or just do your thing. He doesn't make any apologies for himself.'

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