Review: Blue Jean ★★★★★
Blue Jean is touching, poignant and unmissable portrait of lesbian life. It highlights the need to fight to rid the UK of Section 28’s toxic message of homophobic hatred.
Blue Jean tells the story of Jean a lesbian PE teacher in the late 1980s who struggles with her sexuality and it’s place within school life during the period of the infamous Section 28, which made state school teachers abide by these rules:
“[teachers] shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.
Rosy McEwen’s performance as Jean is outstanding portraying a full spectrum of angst and emotion. She alongside Kerrie Hayes, who expertly plays Jean’s butch partner deserves critical and awards galore.
Georgia Oakley’s funny and sad story of self love is so rife and important for young people (and all people) to see. Moments from an awkward kids birthday party to school locker room banter are dealt with in a searingly honest but witty way. The mise en scène of the late 80s with blind date, radio news from Moira Stewart talking section 28.
This film should be shown to all students at school but won’t be due to the very issues of censorship and hatred that the film addresses so passionately. The oxymoron of being a role model and teacher who can’t show their true selves is painful to watch.
This movie is leaps and bound more important than much hyped awards darling and Paul Mescal fronted vehicle, ‘Aftersun’. After the sad lack of diversity at the BAFTAs this year, asks whether the film industry really is ready to ditch misogyny and homophobia in what it shows on screen.
Blue Jean deserves a wider release and is a vital step forward for representation of lesbian relationships and the culture wars of schools that needs to be challenged today.
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.