Love transcends sight and sound in The Way He Looks and Lilting, respectively, two new gay romances that are on the fringes, but shouldn't be off your radar. In the former, a Brazilian gem that nabbed the Teddy Award at this year's Berlin Film Festival, blind high-schooler Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo) is jonesing for an escape and finds it in new kid Gabriel (Fabio Audi), who gently assumes the dual role of Leonardo's confidant and lover. Rather than exploiting Leonardo's condition as an obvious metaphor for love's blindness, The Way He Looks approaches lack of sight as an extension of otherness -- one more hurdle that buoys the poignancy of Leonardo and Gabriel's bond.
Meanwhile, Lilting, a bilingual British drama, sees two people overcome language amid the throes of grief. After secretly dating Kai (Andrew Leung) for four years, Richard (Ben Whishaw) attempts to forge a new relationship with Kai's Chinese-Cambodian mother, Junn (Cheng Pei Pei), who, like Richard, is mourning her son's recent death. With the aid of an interpreter, Richard skirts around the elephant in the room while reminiscing about Kai, who remained closeted until he died. However, it doesn't take long to realize that Richard and Junn can find common, empathetic ground without a single word translated.
Whishaw is at his most shattering as a man freshly stripped of his soul mate, and yet, with an elegance similar to that of The Way He Looks, Lilting suggests that, in certain cases, new connections can help keep severed ones alive.
The Way He Looks opens Nov. 7. Lilting is currently in select theaters. Watch the trailer below: