The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

Just like the flower in the opening scenes, 12-year-old Maxi is a beautiful accent in the gritty underworld on the outskirts of Manila, where he lives. Living with his outlaw father and two older brothers, Maxi dutifully infuses everything he does for them with love. From cooking and sewing to braiding his brother’s hair, Maxi fulfils the role of dalaga for his family, living as a young lady in the absence of femininity and their deceased mother. We follow Maxi through his glowing and textured world of shopping, reenacting beauty pageants, and hanging out at a local DVD stand that screens movies for abundant audiences of transient children. But Maxi’s emotions blossom late one night when he is rescued from neighbourhood thugs by Victor, a kind rookie cop. Smitten with the handsome policeman, Maxi begins to feel pulled between the petty-thief family that he loves and the law and romance Victor embodies.

Veering from adorable and light to bleak and tragic, Maximo Oliveros is all over the emotional map, but in a realistic way, sort of like life itself. The most interesting part of the movie is Lopez’s Maxi, a kid who should be screwed up but instead is totally comfortable in his own skin. Even when the movie is at its most melodramatic, Lopez keeps his performance in check, making this most unreal kid seem very real indeed.

The Philippines’ submission for the 2006 foreign-language film Oscar, "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros" is a unique coming-of-age film, for Maxi is such an intriguing mix of the streetwise and the innocent, self-aware yet emotionally vulnerable. Solito’s ability to inspire such a daring, unself-conscious portrayal from Lopez is no less than astonishing.

Preteen sexuality is a sensitive subject, but director Auraeus Solito handles it with dignity, never becoming exploitative. Whatever you do, stick around for the final scene, a heartfelt tribute to Carol Reed’s 1949 masterwork "The Third Man." – New York Post

Wikipedia | IMDbReview (English) | Review (Deutsch)


17 thoughts on “The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros”

  1. WOW! i have got to see this movie. It looks like a very honest and thoughtful and well made movie. I am sure i will need a box of Kleenex!!!

  2. This is one of the greatest films I have ever seen. The tentative love between Victor And Maxi is beautifully handled. Do not miss this film.

  3. I have this film! It’s one of those ones you can watch again and again! I wasn’t sure when I bought it, but i’m so glad I did :)

  4. Some times it takes a film such as this to remind one to cherish what they do have instead of worrying about what they don’t have.

  5. I agree this is a beautiful film. I grabbed it from Minova some months ago. A difficult topic to film sensitively, but the acting by the lead character Maximo is so honest and relaxed.

  6. has Love of Siam been featured here? I consider Love of Siam better in all aspect compared to this (even if they do tackle a different point of view)

  7. What’s cool is the boy is not gay, but plays one so sensitively. I’ve seen interviews with him.

  8. Guys…please don’t start again..
    i see some posting links to pirate this movie.
    Just stop doing that.
    The film was made with hardly any money by local philipinos. It is an unusual film, and one that ha to be supported. If this community here condemns this film to never recoup anything, all you are doing is making sure no similar film is ever made.
    The film can be bought for a small amount, or can be rented.

  9. i know that was a movie but i was once 12 and gay and the world seened so small untill an older guy comes along and knows how u feel and the world gets bigger.

  10. im a filipino… and from my point of view this movie hasnt been appreciated much from our own country.. i think its becuz philippines, being a catholic countris also still a bit naive when it comes to 3rd sex..

    but im glad that its been an inspirational and touching movie for many people around the globe.. makes me a proud filipino ^_^

    btw if u guys should also try watching “Ang Lihim ni Antonio” (The Secret of Antonio) its also a Filipino Gay Movie..

  11. thanks for posting. i’ve been trying to remember the name of this film for months now. added to my netflix list.

  12. Very enjoyable, though I wish that there had been more of a focus on what the title suggests (i.e. how Maxi “blossomed”), which didn’t really happen until the end.

  13. This takes me back to the visits to the homeland. My father was a cop and so was my grandfather, so this story of a young gay filipino boy kind of touches base with me.

    This is a lot better than The Filipino Channel movies and whatnot that try to make it seem that the Philippines is not a third world country; furthermore most of the modern Filipino films are about finding that perfect (heterosexual) soulmate.

    The culture in the Philippines is deeply rooted in Religion and the Catholic Church, and with this being a more indie film, portrays the more diverse side of Filipino Kultura.

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