PICK Breakfast With Scot: Our Kind of Gay Hero

Eric (Tom Cavanagh) is a deeply closeted sportscaster and ex–Maple Leaf; Sam (Ben Shenkman) is his patient partner. When Sam's brother's girlfriend dies, and the brother can't be located, where is her son Scot going to go? Where, I ask you? Given the schematic premise of this SIFF favorite, the film's charm is that it relaxes as it goes—it loses its high-concept rigidity just as Eric himself stops being so uptight and paranoid about Who Knows, leading to a big, squishy, genuinely moving Christmas-party finale. The agent of both transformations is Scot, who turns out to be a doe-eyed, scarf-wearing, drag-dabbling preteen—the kind of mini-'mo who, trying on a jacket, gleefully squeals "Oooh, look how it hangs!" Eric's attempt to tone him down and butch him up via peewee hockey fails, sure, but with unexpected results. It's all done with a smart, light touch, with no clichéd villains (you know the sort of thing: "This court hereby decrees that fags are unfit parents"—gavel) and no preaching ("Do you want Scot to grow up living a lie? LIKE YOU?!?"). Noah Bernett plays the high-camp role of Scot without a trace of archness in his acting, making the kid's fey flamboyance the most natural, unself-conscious thing in the world. He's kind of magnificent.

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