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Amazing news, you guys! I have mononucleosis for the second (possibly third) time in my life, meaning I officially have at least four to six more weeks to devote all of my free time to watching all of the international Netflix movies and shows for you! (Because I cannot do anything! Everything is really great!)

Anyway, the past two weeks I’ve recommended television shows to you from Denmark and Mexico, but this time we’re headed to Brazil for a MOVIE entitled The Way He Looks (2014), which is basically the most adorable thing I have ever seen in my whole life. (We also reviewed it HERE last November.) So what’s this cute overload about? WELL, Leonardo is a blind teenager who’s beginning to grow up, and (in the process of trying to establish his independence) begins to butt heads with his parents and his friends, whose watchful eye has (in his mind) turned from caring to overbearing.

Wanting to assert oneself is obviously part of being an adolescent, but it’s clear that in the case of Leonardo, his dickhead classmates provide a kick in the ass to become a fully-functioning member of teenage society; they constantly make fun of his blindness (like, seriously, what asshole planet did these children come from?), and while he’s a pretty good sport about it, it pushes him to try to do things by himself, and to consider applying for an exchange program in the United States. His parents have a hugely difficult time with this, because imagine having to deal with your run-of-the-mill “BUT MUH-OHMMMMM!” teenager, but add in a dash of major ocular impairment and you’ve got yourself a nightmare going. And so goes the bouts of angst and over-protectiveness on that front.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY9RFKaZoDQ

IN ADDITION to all of the aforementioned hurdles, we’ve got Gabriel, a dashing and painfully nice new student that Leonardo befriends and ALSO develops a mega-crush on. (Are the romantic vibes reciprocated?! YOU WILL JUST HAVE TO WATCH TO FIND OUT!) The newly discovered feelings drive a wedge in between Leonardo and his best friend Giovana, and they generally make things confusing and messy, as is to be expected with teenage feels.

As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I’m not painting a super optimistic picture. (And I didn’t even tell you about the time that the bullies try to trick Leonardo into kissing a dog, yikes!) But trust me, the vibes are largely good from this little movie, and even though there are certainly obstacles to face when you are a triple threat of being 1. a teenager, 2. blind and 3. gay, Leonardo navigates his circumstances pretty exceptionally bravely. (And you will probably feel bad about thinking YOU had it rough in high school.)

As you may have ascertained by now, you will need to read subtitles if you do not speak Portuguese. (I am going to stop apologizing for you having to read subtitles from now on, and I will just state the facts; I refuse to contribute any more than I already do to our rapidly devolving society, which is probably a lot as-is.) I enjoyed watching it a lot, and I HOPE YOU WILL, TOO!

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