Lukas Dhont’s Belgian drama, Close, stars Eden Dambrine and Gustav de Waele as Léo and Rémi, two thirteen-year-old boys on the precipice of adolescence with a fiercely strong bond that seems inseparable until an unexpected event throws their friendship into complete disarray.

Dambrine and de Waele are given space to truly shine here. They’re incredibly talented young actors who both display such promise as they skillfully embody these characters in a way that’s perfectly understated and grounded in reality, showing how fickle emotions are at that age.

Each actor brings something different to the characters and their reactions to the world around them. We see the uncertainty and frustration that comes with growing up, which makes this story so universal. The clear juxtaposition between them ratchets up the tension and stakes, due not only to Dambrine and de Waele with their ability to communicate complex feelings even in the silence, but also Dhont’s direction and the beautiful screenplay by Dhont and Angelo Tijssens, who’ve teamed up once more. Despite being centered around Léo and Rémi, the inclusion of Émilie Dequenne, who plays Rémi’s mother, Sophie, is what makes Close truly special, delivering an affecting performance that will move you to tears. 

Frank van den Eeden’s artful cinematography brings everything together, making the landscape a story of its own, contrasting vibrant colours that seem to jump off the screen with stark white blankets of snow to show the passage of time, a key element to this coming-of-age tale.

Close is by far one of the best films that was featured in this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It will break your heart and mend it too, as it’s one of those rare films that stays with you long after it’s over, like a scar that’s been left behind.



CAST: Eden Dambrine, Gustav de Waele, Émilie Dequenne, Léa Drucker. Kevin Janssens

DIRECTOR: Lukas Dhont

WRITERS: Lukas Dhont, Angelo Tijssens

SYNOPSIS: The intense friendship between two thirteen-year old boys, Leo and Remi, suddenly gets disrupted.