Lola (Valerie Pachner) lives her life with precision; she is meticulous, orderly, and restrained at work and at home. As a jet-setting business consultant, she is used to being at the top of her game and is the type of person who plays by the rules well enough that she can break them when she needs. Even her clandestine relationship with her equally poised boss Elsie can be folded up and compartmentalized when needed.
But, as the title suggests, the foundation of Lola’s perfect world is rocked by the increasing instability of her schizophrenic older sister Conny (Pia Hierzegger) who forces her to reckon with the shadowy undercurrents of her own life. Kreutzer’s work is a subtly intense portrait of a woman simultaneously unraveling and coming together in new ways. THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET is a stirring psychological drama that delicately balances love, secrecy, mental illness, and perfectionism.
Todd has been living his life as a young gay man, but this fact is also complicated by his general aversion to sex. Much to the chagrin of his friends, Todd begins to wonder if his lack of desire means that he is actually heterosexual. Soon after, Todd meets Rory, his intellectual soulmate who also happens to be a woman, but neither Todd nor Rory are sexually attracted to one another. The two must navigate everyone else’s expectations, their own desires (or lack thereof), and the deep connection they share.
James Sweeney’s STRAIGHT UP is a whole new type of LGBTQ film that asks its audience question whether sexual desire must always be at the heart of romantic comedy films. Is Todd really straight, or is this just the product of internalized homophobia? Where do Rory’s needs fall in all this? This quick-witted film values reflection and ambiguity over formula romance.