Close is an award-winning coming-of-age drama that explores how the seemingly unbreakable friendship of Léo and Rémi, two 13-year-old boys, is suddenly, tragically torn apart. After a long summer holiday of innocent intimacy, their relationship is thrown into disarray when schoolmates start to make insulting and intrusive comments about them. The boys (portrayed by amateur actors) must revise their friendship as Léo attempts to distance himself from Rémi.

Join us on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 10 a.m. for Close as Cinema Art Bethesda continues in-person screenings and discussions at the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema.  As always, coffee/tea and bagels/cream cheese will be provided starting at 9:30 am.  Admission is $15 per person (cash or checks only) for the entire program.

Léo and Rémi are best friends in their town in rural Belgium. They have a deep and intimate affection for one another during a joyful summer vacation. But when school resumes, other classmates pick on the boys, which leads to new complications and a difficult aftermath for the young teens. Director Lukas Dhont (and co-writer along with Angelo Tijssens) says the title Close comes from “close friendship,” which was a recurring term in Niobe Way’s book “Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection,” which documents intimacy among teenage boys.

Close runs 1 hour 44 minutes. Dialogue in French, with English subtitles.


More Details about CLOSE

Distributor:  A24

IMDB Information:

Rotten Tomatoes Score:  91% Tomatometer  86% Audience Score

Festivals and Awards

Cannes Film Festival 2022: film nominated for Palm d’Or; Dhont won Grand Jury Prix

Academy Award (Oscar): nominated for Best International Feature Film

Sydney Film Festival 2022: won Sydney Film Prize

Hamptons International Film Festival: won Best Narrative Feature

Chicago International Film Festival: won Silver Hugo Jury Award, Gold Q-Hugo

National Board of Review: Best Foreign Language Film


Washington Post  Ann Hornaday

“Dhont tells a familiar story in what feels like a fresh and urgently new way, with sensitivity, sadness and promising glimmers of hope.”

Times (U.K.)  Kevin Maher

“An authentic study of loss, buttressed by two extraordinary child actors, and complemented by a handful of impeccable adult players…” 

Close review — the end of boyhood laid bare (

New Yorker:  Anthony Lane

“What Dhont understands, in short, is how kinetic the rites of passage are—how growing pains are expressed not in words, however therapeutic, but in rushes of activity.”

New York Times  Gabe Cohn

How to Turn a Good Cry Into Good Cinema:   “Léo is having a cast put on his wrist after a hockey accident. But we understand that his crying reflects something more profound than physical pain. The doctor wraps; Léo’s tears drop. Pip. Pip. Pip.”