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MOVIES: Blue Jean - Review

Smart, burning with anger at a corrupt system, Blue Jean is a mesmerising, heartbreaking movie that's more than just its stylish New Order needle drop but it's own thing, a rare marvel - a powerful character driven performance from the broken Jean; played by Rosy Mcewan, caught between two worlds - a lesbian teacher living under the threat of section 28, and her life of liberation, of freedom within the LGBTQ+, community, like a deer in the headlights.

It's a personal story as Jean's forced into a decision where she has to make a choice and it's not one that everyone thinks that they would make were they in her shoes; the context of the time surrounds her and it becomes all the more heartbreaking because she makes that choice: alone, isolated - making a bad situation ten times worse through no fault of her own - nobody should have been placed in that position - yet Jean is, so she survives - as she must. The film makes such a great double feature with All the Beauty and the Bloodshed because it thrives; showing different ways how as it pushes against the system and fights it - the system fighting back at the same time - never opting for the easy way out and always making life more difficult for itself with the most uncompromising results possible.

Social vs. economic survival is a difficult choice at the best of times and the film takes that decision out of Jean's hands in a powerful; turbulent relationship that upends her lifestyle. It's a film that ultimately deserves to rank up there with the great British social realist films of its age - we got a string of them in the middle of lockdowns, Make Up, Perfect 10 and Lynn + Lucy; but few since - Blue Jean is a welcome return to form with the most emotionally devastating character arcs since Aftersun - rage for the ugly side of history quietly burning underneath, waiting to be heard.

Let Thatcher burn in hell for what she did, really.