Christopher Reeve made his directorial debut with In the Gloaming, and given his condition, it’s a rather inspirational achievement. There’s no question that he works well with actors, and Glenn Close in particular gives a nuanced performance as a long-suffering mother. That said, the film is troubling in ways one doubts Reeve intended. The story of a gay son (Robert Sean Leonard) dying of AIDS who returns to his buttoned-up suburban family, the film is curiously buttoned up as well. The words AIDS and gay are never mentioned, and few scenes suggest Leonard feels any physical discomfort — yet the restraint seems more morbid than uplifting. Ultimately, this is a disease-of-the-week flick, a genre that seems more and more like emotional pornography. B-

In The Gloaming
  • TV Show