TIFF 2019: LOVE ME TENDER

As always, many thanks to Courtney of Cinemaaxis.com.

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Still living with her parents, Seconda hasn’t left the house in nine months. After her mother dies in front of her eyes, her father taking flight soon after, she is thrust into a situation that she isn’t equipped to deal with.

An incredibly unique film addressing mental health – specifically agoraphobia and social anxiety – Love Me Tender is unflinching in its depiction of a young female suffering from these conditions, with no cliches to be found.

Her child-like ignorance to the outside world is obvious as once left to look after herself, she takes to throwing rocks at people from her second storey window, perhaps a reaction to the threatening phone messages she receives pertaining to her father’s disappearance. It could also serve as a metaphor for how she feels when seeing others who are happy and able to roam the outside world she fears without issue.

However, circumstances soon demand she leave the house, forcing her to confront her fears. Clad in a blue jumpsuit, her ignorance to social ‘normalities’ is evident as individuality and the unneeded pressure many feel to conform to these perceived societal norms is explored.

Seconda doesn’t try to conform at all, although it becomes clear that she is probably incapable of doing so. Free from her home but now in an unfamiliar place, the film becomes increasingly surreal as occasional hallucinations serve both as a coping mechanism while also suggesting possible reasons and events from her past that explain her current situation.

Love Me Tender is often brutal and overwhelming in its depressing tone, though a healthy side dish of dark comedy provide brief reprisals from this and given the film’s honesty, these laughs never feel exploitative. The inexperienced Barbara Giordano is hauntingly realistic as Seconda, conveying sad truths about severe mental illness while serving as a sturdy anchor for a challenging but rewarding experience.


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4 Comments on “TIFF 2019: LOVE ME TENDER

  1. Anxiety is an issue for many us. Will add to the watchlist, had not heard of it before. Good to know there’s a bit of comedy within the story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Its a really great story. Very unconventional, who knows when it’ll get a proper release. But definitely worth watching. And I feel ya – anxiety is a BITCH. And its on the rise, probably because we have become so used to our technology these days

      Liked by 1 person

      • I saw the preview clip from Love Me Tender where she meets the man at the front door and it’s affecting. Yeah, tough these days meeting new people. You can’t generalize but I went to a lecture yesterday and the guy next to me didn’t even acknowledge my presence and just continued looking at his phone. No interest in even saying Hi. I find the older generation tend to be more open and polite, though it depends of course.
        By coincidence I was watching The Best Offer (2013) w/ Geoffrey Rush this week which happens to also be about anxiety. Will review it at the end of the month.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll have to keep an eye out for that review, I’ll look now and check.

        I think there’s no doubt that the safer technology has made us feel, the more mental illness has become an issue. There is a correlation there, previous generations didn’t have as much of a problem with this.

        Personally I think technology has coddled us into feeling ‘in control’, so as soon as that feeling is gone, we feel legitimate anxiety. Obviously there are other factors, but I think that the rise of tech, as great as it is, is the biggest reason for the increase.

        Or hey, perhaps I’m just 100% full of shite! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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