here! Networks / Regent Releasing
Now playing in select cities
Coming out stories definitely have a niche audience. Not every household in America will be running out to see films about young men and women coming to terms with their sexuality. When they are done well, however, they are more coming-of-age than coming out. It’s the whole self-discovery thing that those of us who love good stories will respond to. The ad campaign for “Shelter” goes that extra mile to bring the audiences in by splashing some boy nipples on the trailer and one-sheet. This is the debut of writer/director, Jonah Markowitz, and it’s a pretty solid one, I’m happy to report. Trevor Wright plays our lead, Zach. He’s a kid who has basically given up his own life to take care of his nephew (because his sister could care less). It’s a rough-and-tumble life for a blue-collar kid who likes to surf and paint in San Pedro. It only becomes more complicated when his best friend’s openly gay brother, Shaun (played by Brad Rowe) comes back from Los Angeles to collect himself by the water’s edge. There’s an old girlfriend in the mix and the usual complication of hopes and dreams and expectations. The film has an assured sense about it, and Markowitz is able to bring about great performances and a soundtrack that’s kinda great to boot. We may have seen a lot of these kind of films, but when there’s enough heart in them, we’ll welcome them for repeat visit.