Film Review: B&B (2017)

Film Review: B&B (2017)

May 11, 2017

IMDb: B&B (2017)
Director: Joe Ahearne
Stars: Sean Teale, Tom Bateman, Paul McGann

LGBT issues, and most notably same sex marriage is a very prominent topic in the news, and while it’s turned up in comedies and dramas, genre films have tended to stay clear of it for the most part. B&B, the new film from Joe Ahearne (Apparitions, Dr. Who) uses just that as the starting point for a dark thriller that recalls DePalma and Hitchcock.

Married couple Marc (Tom Bateman) and Fred (Sean Teale) were denied a room at Christian innkeeper Josh’s (Paul McGann) bed and breakfast. After suing and winning they’re back to gloat. The only other guest is a mysterious, and well built, Russian named Alexie (James Tratas). At first they worry that Josh has hired him to get his own revenge on the couple, but things quickly spiral off in other directions involving Alexia and Paul (Callum Woodhouse) Josh’s closeted son, and a brutal crime not involving Marc and Fred. Figuring out who can be trusted and what everyone’s agenda is becomes the key to survival for all involved.

With a small cast and limited locations B&B relies on it’s writing and acting to deliver, and deliver it does. The writing is especially smart with crisp dialogue and real characters. It doesn’t make the mistake of setting up either the gay couple or the innkeeper as obvious good/bad guys. By showing up to gloat they show a petty, nasty side, and Josh isn’t played as a sanctimonious bigot. This makes it much harder to guess which way the plot will turn next.

B&B has been making the festival rounds and won Best LGBT Film at the London Independent Film Festival. B&B deserves to win more awards, it’s a smart thriller that uses LGBT in a central part of it’s plot but doesn’t let it become the plot. This isn’t a film that will preach at you or overtly propagandize either position, although by the film’s end it’s clear who’s side the director supports. Even the verbal sparring between Marc and Josh is kept balanced, not an easy task given the plot.