Gossamer Folds is an American Coming-of-Age drama filled with life wisdom and a strong message of individuality and acceptance.
Seeing a story that doesn’t shy away from addressing complex topics while maintaining positivity and hope is refreshing. The narrative doesn’t hesitate to confront complicated matters, such as the themes of dysfunctional families and the father/son bond, which are explored subtly and seem authentic and relevant.
The events depicted in the movie occur during the summer of 1986 when Tate, a young boy played by Jackson Robert Scott, is uprooted from his home in the big city and relocated to a more rural area nearby. The idyllic hopes for a happy new life soon give way to troubles when it becomes clear that Tate’s parents have been on the rocks for quite some time. Additionally, their new neighbour, Gossamer, is a trans-Black woman. Despite Gossamer being courteous and pleasant, Tate’s parents can’t get past their transphobic and homophobic beliefs. They worry about how her presence might influence their young son, who they fear could be “corrupted” by someone so different from them.
The best feature of the film is the originality of the plot. But it’s not just the story that sets this film apart; the creative musical score is another highlight. The music features many jazz-themed pieces, adding more depth to the compelling narrative.
The film’s exceptional craftsmanship is evident in its beautifully crafted scenes, almost reminiscent of a fairy tale. One particularly stunning scene involves a hunt for lightning bugs, whose soft glow illuminates the night sky. The score playing in the background is airy and light, which works wonderfully to complement the enchanted environment that is now present. The conversation between the film’s two lead protagonists comes effortlessly when placed in such an environment.
Those who enjoy Coming-of-Age genre movies may recall Jackson Robert Scott’s previous roles, including his portrayal of “George” in It Chapter One (2017), It Chapter Two (2019), and The Prodigy, a 2019 horror film by Nicholas McCarthy. He captures audiences’ hearts with his youthful charm and innocent looks in Gossamer Folds. It feels like we are experiencing the world all over again alongside his characters, even if most viewers have much more life experience than he does. It’s a delight to watch him interact with Alexandra Grey (who portrays the transsexual Gossamer). Their friendship brings back memories of John (Christian Craft) and Zeola (Rusty Schwimmer) in John John in the Sky (2000). It’s a testament to his talent that a young actor like Jackson Robert Scott can deliver such a heartwarming performance.
It is a pity that the story loses part of its appeal by the end due to the unavoidable decision one of the characters is forced to make. The audience is caught off guard by this turn of events, and some ambiguity is introduced; however, Gossamer Folds is a pleasant Coming-of-Age drama that improves with repeated viewings, features some moving sequences, and is an excellent pick for fans of realistic Coming-of-Age stories.
Gossamer Folds Trailer