Beautiful Thing

Watch Beautiful Thing

"An urban fairytale."
  • R
  • 1996
  • 7.6  (25,589)

Set in working-class London, Beautiful Thing is a charming and uplifting coming-of-age story that centers on the lives of three young people. Directed by Hettie Macdonald, this 1996 British drama is a touching and honest portrayal of adolescence and queerness. The film follows Jamie (Glen Berry), a shy and sensitive teenager who lives with his single mother, Sandra (Linda Henry), in a council estate. Jamie's world is turned upside down when Ste (Scott Neal), his rough and tough classmate, seeks refuge in his flat after being beaten up by his abusive father. As the two boys spend more time together, they begin to develop a tender and intimate friendship that leads them to question their sexuality.

At the same time, Jamie's relationship with his mother is also undergoing changes. Sandra has been struggling with alcoholism and a string of failed relationships, but she finds solace in her son's blossoming friendship with Ste. As Jamie and Ste's relationship deepens, their bond becomes a source of strength for both of them, as they navigate the challenges of growing up in a world that can be hostile and unsupportive of their desires.

The film's central theme is identity and self-discovery, and it explores these ideas with sensitivity and nuance. Jamie is a character who is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in a world that is hostile towards gay men. He is constantly teased and bullied by his classmates, and his mother's own internalized homophobia makes it difficult for him to express himself freely. However, with the support of Ste and a cast of colorful characters, Jamie finds the courage to be true to himself and embrace his identity.

Alongside its exploration of sexuality, the film also deals with other serious issues such as domestic violence, alcoholism, and poverty. These themes are all interwoven into the narrative in a way that feels organic and authentic, never feeling preachy or forced. The film uses humor and warmth to balance out its darker elements, creating a rich and nuanced portrait of working-class life.

One of the film's strengths is its stellar cast, who deliver nuanced and authentic performances. Glen Berry as Jamie is a standout, delivering a deeply moving and empathetic portrayal of a young man struggling to find his place in the world. Scott Neal as Ste is equally impressive, bringing nuance to a character who could have easily been reduced to a caricature. Linda Henry as Sandra delivers a powerful and complex performance as a woman trying to find her way back to sobriety and emotional stability.

Beautiful Thing's thoughtful and nuanced portrayal of queer identity and its intersection with working-class life makes it stand out among other coming-of-age films. The film's message of acceptance, empowerment, and self-love is a powerful one that will resonate with viewers of all backgrounds.

Beautiful Thing is a 1996 comedy. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.

Beautiful Thing
Where to Watch Beautiful Thing
Beautiful Thing is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Beautiful Thing for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
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  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (25,589)