Dorian Blues

Dorian Blues
Directed by Tennyson Bardwell
Written by Tennyson Bardwell
Starring Michael McMillian
Lea Coco
Steve Fletcher
Mo Quigley
Distributed by - USA -
TLA Releasing
- Germany -
pro fun media GmbH
Release date(s) 2004
Running time 88 min
Country USA
Language English
Budget 185,000 USD [1]

Dorian Blues is a 2004 comedy film about a gay teenager coming to terms with his identity in upstate New York. The film was written and directed by Tennyson Bardwell and is loosely based on Bardwell's college roommate.[2]



Dorian realizes he is gay in his final year of high school. He meets another gay youth locally, but remains confused, and finally comes out to his brother, Nicky. Nicky is a scholarship-winning quarterback and favorite son to their heteronormative and argumentative father. Dorian starts therapy, then resorts to confession in the Church. When his therapist and the church politely avoid offering any real help, Dorian has his first intimate encounter with a local gay youth. Dorian goes back to Nick, who was at first reluctant to accept his brother's sexuality. Nick attempts to teach Dorian how to fight and arranges to have him spend a night with a prostitute in order to make him become straight; from these efforts Dorian gains only a concussion and lesson in dancing, respectively. After much soul-searching, Dorian comes out to his father (while wearing a fuchsia shirt) for which he is kicked out of the house after a very surreal argument over whether or not Dorian is gay. Dad is very preoccupied with who else may know of Dorian's defective nature although Nick confesses that he knows and an anticlimatic scene resolves with Dorian packing his bags. Dorian moves to New York City, a city he adores. Dorian expresses all kinds of angst over his life style, defending his true nature to his father over the Christmas holidays. Returning to New York, Dorian experiences a series of encounters with the darker side of homosexuality. Dorian finds a boyfriend, but he gets dumped after two months with no reason given. Dorian develops a deep depression and finally, in despair gives in to it, coincidental to Nicky visiting Dorian in the city. Nicky reluctantly joins Dorian with friends at Dorian's favorite local gay bar. Just as Dorian pleads with a friend to flaunt his newly found popularity, Nicky reunites with obsequious football friends—stealing Dorian's thunder. Dorian then learns his exboyfriend dumped him for another close friend. The after-discussion of the evening revolves around Nick defending his sexuality to Dorian in the face of Nick's football friends being gay and Dorian defending his own sexuality to his brother. Later that night, Dorian awakes to Nicky crying and learn that Nick was cut from the football team and was stripped of his scholarship. In the middle of the discussion, they both learn their father has died of a heart attack. At the funeral, Dorian's mother, finally freed of the overbearing influence of Dorians father, tells Dorian she regrets not stopping his father from being angry with him.

Critical reception

Dorian Blues won eight awards at the first nine film festivals it screened at and has just won its fourteenth award.

Dorian Blues won the audience award and the Emerging Maverick Director's Award at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose where it had its world premiere. The film won a special jury award at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, the audience award at the Lake Placid Film Festival and best screenplay award at the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival, which was sponsored by the Writers Guild East. The film won the audience award for best first feature at Outfest which included a $5,000 cash award sponsored by HBO. The film also won the audience award for best feature film at the Long Island International Film Forum and the audience award at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. At the Bahamas International Film Festival, The film won the Torchlight Best Feature award sponsored by New York University. Dorian Blues won the audience award the 2005 Out Far! Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in Phoenix, Arizona. In Torino, Italy, it got the audience and best film awards. It also received the audience award at film festival in Copenhagen.

Filming locations

Some of the film took place in Delmar, New York and Glenmont, New York. Some scenes were filmed in Bethlehem Central High School.


Actor Role
Michael McMillian Dorian Lagatos
Lea Coco Nicky Lagatos
Charles Fletcher Tom Lagatos
Mo Quigley Maria Lagatos
Austin Basis Spooky
Ryan Kelly Berkowitz Tiffany
Chris Dallman Andrew
Carl Danna priest
Leslie Elliard therapist
Sian Heder Ellie
Cody Nickell Ben
Jeff Paul social worker

External links


  1. ^ "Union makes the 'indie' movie circuit". The Times Union (Steve Barnes). December 11, 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  2. ^ New York Times review

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