The beginning of Blue Jean rolls with a contemporary tempo. The year is 1988, and the subject matter involves an individual whose sexuality is closeted. The film moves forward with the foundation of the main character just wanting to maintain her normal everyday life. Set in the United Kingdom, Blue Jean is an artistic portrayal of the value of one’s privacy, but also of one’s choices. Blue Jean is fascinating both in its poetic achievements and its empathetic journey towards the conflict that arises.
Blue Jean focuses on Jean who is played by Rosy McEwen. She is a gym teacher with a secret. She is a lesbian with a normal and uneventful life. It takes place in the year when Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government is going to pass a law which stigmatizes gays and lesbians. Jean is in a situation where she must be careful because of her sexuality. She visits LGBT night clubs and maintains a relationship with another woman. The situation comes to a challenging place when a student of Jean begins visiting the same nightclub. This student is Lois who is played by Lucy Halliday. Lois is a troubled student who is also closeted during a time when being attracted to the same gender is not accepted everywhere. The tensions rise for Jean because Lois makes choices that become alarming and even continues to be persistent with Jean outside of school. Jean does what she can to establish boundaries, but Lois is the type who will act out of spite. Blue Jean is a tale of emotion and sadness in an era when it’s hard to feel accepted for what the heart desires.
With the LGBT romance vibe being interrupted for Jean, Blue Jean possesses engrossing tensions that will shock audiences to the core with emotions. It is a film that involves an array of questions that weren’t unusual for the late 1980s. Why does Jean feel at a loss with herself? Why is Lois obsessed Jean? Is Jean disconnected? Is Lois disconnected? Is it even about feeling connected? Blue Jean is a realistic portrait of how it hurts to not feel accepted. The film’s artistic captivations are triumphant and fascinating. The power of wanting to feel loved and accepted is a universal feeling that audiences will experience in the eyes of Jean and Lois.
Blue Jean may start out slow, but this pacing gives audiences the idea of how a life of solitude may have seemed for those who were closeted back in the day. Jean is not a bad person; she just wants to live her life without impact. Lois on the other hand wants attention, but she cannot get it from acting out of frustration. As Jean has her escape in the nightclubs and her drives through the evening, audiences will sense how her solitude hurts sometimes. The movie is gut-wrenching, but it is also a poetic achievement in terms of how the director taps into factors of sexuality and people’s feelings of attraction. Four stars for Blue Jean.