While watching an LGBT film about religion, it is easy to assume that you’ve already chosen your side. Vilify the right-wing zealots! Equality for all! What is unique about The Wise Kids, is that the complex characters and nuanced performances effectively keep the viewer in many shades of gray.
Brea, Tim and Laura are three friends who live in a tight-knit South Carolina town where everyone knows each other and church on Sunday is a given. As the friends near high school graduation and face the many decisions related to planning for the future, they are forced to come to terms with possible separation…physically and spiritually. Tim, who is gay, plans to move to New York and attend film school. He loves the Lord and, almost cheerfully, has little problem reconciling his beliefs with his sexuality. Brea, the preacher’s daughter, is caught between the comfort of what she’s always known and her wavering faith. For her, starting a new life in New York with Tim could mean rejecting everything she has even been taught. Laura, the most religiously devout of the three, wants to stay close to home and go to a school that will support her faith. She is also quite worried for Tim’s soul: how do you continue to love the friend you’ve known forever when you firmly believe he won’t make it to heaven?
Winner of the Outfest Jury Award for Best US Dramatic Feature and Best Screenwriting, in addition to the Newfest Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, this film takes repression, denial, confliction and discovery to a thought-provoking new level.