Is ‘Adam’ too complex for audiences?

A bunch of queer people with Oscar and Emmy chops made a film that’s being excoriated by activists. A few writers delve into why we cannot have nuanced things.

‘Adam’ Applies a Trans Lens to a Cis Gaze. Is That Too Complex for Cancel Culture?
By Jude Dry from Indie Wire
“Adam, named for the first ‘man,’ is a virgin. Awkward, shy, and socially ostracized in his small town, the 17-year-old strikes gold when he’s invited to spend the summer living with his queer older sister in Bushwick, Brooklyn. (Circa 2006, when it was still cool.) Finding himself the outsider in an eclectic group of people who run the gamut of the LGBTQ+ alphabet, Adam unwittingly stumbles into a misguided deception when a pretty girl assumes he is trans — and he doesn’t correct her.”

In Defense of Adam and Trans Artistic Freedom
By Kyle Lash from Advocate
“The social media calls for a boycott of Rhys Ernst’s debut feature, ‘Adam,’ prompted impassioned conversations amongst the trans artists who converged in L.A. for Outfest last week. ‘Adam’ was, in fact, a crowd favorite, premiered at Sundance, and continues to find audiences in advance of its theatrical release this month.”

“Adam” Is 2019’s Most Controversial Queer Film—And Its Most Important
By Jenni Olsen from NewNowNext
“On the surface, its premise certainly seems problematic. A straight cis teenage boy falls into a relationship with a lesbian who believes he is a trans man; he does not correct her, lying to her until almost the end. Given that we live in a profoundly transphobic society, it’s understandable that skeptics would raise concerns over Adam’s story line.”

People Are Calling For This Queer Indie Film To Be Canceled Before It Hits Theaters
By Shannon Keating from BuzzFeed News
“When Rhys Ernst’s directorial debut, Adam — adapted by Ariel Schrag from her 2014 novel of the same name — premiered at Sundance this past January, the film got good-to-great reviews.”

Adam Proves Why Trans Filmmakers Need To Tell Trans Stories
By Oliver Whitney from Vanity Fair
“The movie, about a cis teenage boy who’s mistaken for trans, has sparked controversy—but it’s a valuable addition to a growing canon.”

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