Bloomington

For better or worse, sometimes after watching a film, it takes up a little space in my head and won’t go away until it’s had its say.

Bloomington is one such film.

Hailed as one of the indie films to watch last year, it features  the coming of age story of a former television child actress, Jacqueline “Jackie” Kirk as she navigates a new life in a university away from home. There, she wrestles her former stardom, hidden past trauma and a somewhat-illicit relationship with an older female professor.

Ramblings of a Nut: The Enigma of Catherine Stark in Bloomington

While Sarah Stouffer does a great job as Jackie Kirk, balancing the former child star’s  sense of world weariness with child-like innocence and wonder, the character whom I was really intrigued with was Alison Mcatee’s Catherine Stark. (Is her Stark surname some kind of Iron Man  in-joke for her character’s reputed Casanova ways?)

“Could I get an answer before graduation?”

I’ve read remarks online that expressed uneasiness over the possibilities of an abuse of influence by Catherine in the ensuing liaison, but despite the age disparity, Stouffer’s Jackie is twenty-two in the film, which makes her a legal and willing adult.

Thanks to her friends, Jackie is also well-aware of Catherine’s love life notoriety, and as a survivor of the Hollywood tween star circuit, she would hardly be considered Miss Innocent & Easily Impressionable.

Morever, even whilst Catherine puts the moves on Jackie,  she is careful to solicit prior approval from Jackie along the way, fastidously taking care to check in with Jackie if she is all right or comfortable.

(One of my favorite scenes is when Catherine questions Jackie again over if she is sure and whether she has done this before. Jackie gives an affirmative answer to both questions, surprising her.

Jackie: Once, I think.
Catherine: You think?
Jackie: Yeah, but I’m not supposed to say who with.  She’s on TV.
Catherine: Oh. Of course. I understand.

The pair proceeds to get on with business. I love.)

I like to think that a part of the discomfort viewing the two of them together stems from the physical; their palpable height difference. (Watch the adorable BTS bit where Sarah Stouffer recounts the indignities of apple boxes.)

To the people who have such a hard time with it; is height really that much of a deterrent when two people fall in love? I have real-life weight-height challenged couple friends and roughly paraphrasing what one told me, having a height difference isn’t that much of a concern when both parties are lying down. (I’m just saying.)

And in spite of her player reputation, Catherine pours herself into the budding affair with Jackie, showing genuine care and concern for her well-being. Admittedly, certain moments had supple parent-child vibes, but I like to think of it as something unavoidable given the age and life experience gap. (Incidentally, I used to peel prawns for my ex and even my gal friends when we ate out so I don’t have issues with food-cutting for others.)

Meanwhile, as Catherine discreetly applies her psychology skills to mentally aid Jackie, I in turn wanted to urge Catherine; physician, heal thy self.

Throughout the film, Catherine presents a somewhat unflappable-untouchable personality, almost akin to an outcast. She affects an icy demeanor as a sanguine, poised professor who suffers no fools gladly and seemingly above repercussions. The general student response to her is either fear or awe, sometimes both.

Catherine is aware but nonetheless blase in her dismissal of her intimidating reputation or effect on others.  She remains intrepid in her chosen independent lifestyle and in fact seems to shy away from any heavy-handed emotional handling in her life- whilst revealing the mention of the loss of her parents at 15,  she packages any repercussions of the ordeal into a discomfort with flying and dispenses it with that.

When Jackie finally plucks up the courage to further question about Catherine and her lovers past; we are presented with the another side of her. The vulnerable, sensitive Catherine who is quick to read and discern her young companion’s issues, but coyly side-steps and hides her own.

Bathroom Talk

Jackie: What happened to them?
Catherine: It ended. They left.
Jackie: Am I different?
Catherine: Would you believe me if I said yes?

Jackie makes no answer even as Catherine displays an air of resignation to the doubts on Jackie’s end. She seems genuinely sad but yet curiously reconciled in her incapacity to go further. It is almost like a seed of self-destruction has been sowed within her;  choosing the ones who will leave, choosing to partake in affairs where there would be consequences to pay.

My favorite scene in the film takes place in the library; Jackie looks up Catherine in the library to obtain some feedback on her scholarship application essay and subsequently gets Catherine to explain her work; a paper based on the theory of the reversal of self-denial.

“Did you just make that up?”

Catherine,”You know what denial is right? Okay, well, it’s like if you deny yourself something for long enough, for whatever self imposed reason, the moment that you’re faced with any real external imposition, you are going to voluntarily want to do the thing the thing you’re trying so hard not to do.”

Is she unknowingly talking about herself and her own abject fear of falling in love?

Whether Catherine would admit to it or not, she had already unwittingly allowed “Porcupine” Jackie to clumsily barge into her life. In the same scene, a bored and distracted Jackie in the library wheedles attention from a busy Catherine.  Initially dismissive, then evasive, Catherine finds herself unable and unwilling to shut out her young lover and ends up putting down her work to cater to her. What is that, if not a little semblance of the thing called love?

Catherine’s deep attachment to her home also explains and represents the key conduits to many a turning point in the film. Her house, an inheritance from her deceased parents is her special place where she consigns comfort and thus able to drop her mask of composure and self-assurance.

It is to this same place she invites Jackie to immediately after the initial seduction and continuously features as the backdrop to where much of their burgeoning relationship unfolds. It is also there that Catherine confesses, for the first time to a sleeping Jackie how much she likes having over and that she loves her.

Sadly, the same house becomes a splintering point for the two when Jackie slights it during a quarrel, an insult which begets Catherine’s brutal knee-jerk response, and initiates the terminus of their romance.

And in the end, Bloomington is Jackie’s growing up story.

In due course of their engagement, Jackie learns to deal with the sadness of losing her best friend and manager, comes to terms with an uneasy relationship with her mother and even utilizes her university learning to negate a role back into her industry, recognizing her true calling.

It doesn’t go so well for Catherine. After the exposure of  her affair with Jackie, Catherine is humiliated by an increasingly hostile student body then confronted with proof of her indiscretions; paparazzi pictures of Jackie who sought solace in her house after a fight with a classmate. Catherine is asked to leave by the end of the school year.

It seems a rather unfair punishment since there is no clear explanation on the basis of what Catherine is being made to leave for.

Having a relationship with another consenting adult? (You can’t really accuse her of subjugating the teacher-student trust; Jackie wasn’t her student in university.) Having a relationship with a girl? (I thought there were policies against sexual orientation discrimination?) And with evidence based on a black and white picture of Jackie visiting her home? (Couldn’t she have easily explained this as giving aid to a student-friend?)

The firing seems a particularly despotic way to chasten Catherine. For all of her romantic faux pas, Catherine’s popularity and work ethic as a lecturer is clear in the film. Even whilst in the throes of a new affair, she was constantly seen buried in her books or papers; her superior compliments her for having the longest wait list for her class and even the most disagreeable of Jackie’s classmates begrudgingly admitted Catherine’s teaching capabilities as they bartered other unsavory tales of her.

An academic to the finish line though, we see her running into Jackie at the library where the latter is returning her books, while she is there to pick up the latest copy of a work journal.

But I like to see her leaving as a progression rather than regression. The university had been her comfort zone and albeit forced by circumstances, Catherine appeared to be finally stepping out.

When Catherine invites Jackie over to her house for the last time after their chance meeting in the library, what looked like merely a concluding romp unfolds into a gentle, intimate scene where Catherine takes the chance to reassure Jackie that the fallout was not her fault and most importantly, that she does not hate Jackie for what happened.

Later, when questioned by Jackie about her future plans, Catherine admits that she does not know but maintains she will be fine. Jackie simply reminds Catherine that she has her number. There is so much left unspoken between the pair during this short exchange that it breaks my heart.

They embrace each other for the last time and Jackie leaves.

In the closing scenes, whilst packing up in her office, Catherine is informed by her assistant about Jackie’s interview outside. The scene cuts outdoors to Jackie answering the reporter’s last few questions. The scene cuts back to Catherine, who is now standing at the window, gazing out at Jackie.  She watches quietly, gives an enigmatic smile to herself before quietly turning and leaving.

Similarly, after her interview, Jackie starts to leave but then turns around and looks up, towards Catherine’s office. She looks for a while, seeking something, someone.

Alas, there is no one at the recently emptied office, and after a beat, she too turns away to make her way slowly off campus on her last day, ending the film.

The romantic in me would like to consider the ending as optimistic. From their individual lingering looks back at each other, both Jackie and Catherine are not quite done yet.  I see Bloomington as more than a coming of age story; it’s also a tale of two people who fell in love with each other against the odds, but are yet not quite at the right point of their lives to be together. As Jackie says in her interview about having taken a long way about and returning to acting after running away from it, “There’s no place like home.”

Both have further growing up to do in their respective ways, and in time to come (sequel please!) I might yet be able to watch Jackie and Catherine eventually find their way back home, back to each other and obtain the ever elusive happy ending.

For more info about the film, check out the official website for Bloomington, directed by Fernanda Cardoso.

Orders for the DVD are available at Wolfe and Amazon.

Check out other reviews at After Ellen , VelvetPark & Cherry Grrl.

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60 Comments

Filed under Goggle Box

60 responses to “Bloomington

  1. B

    I enjoyed your take on the film, as it helped me notice a few things I had just passed over before. I’ve read other reviews that haven’t necessarily been as positive (mainly focused on the fact that Jackie and Catherine turn to men to hurt each other), but I found the film very sweet, and with a promising end.

    I agree that a sequel needs to happen, pronto!

    • brittlepeanut

      thanks for taking the time to read it and reply!
      holding out for the sequel!!!

      • moviebuff

        Thanks brittlepeanut for such a beautiful review. I really enjoyed your minute analysis of the movie. though the movie did not touch me intially, after the review a lot of stuff i overlooked made sense.

  2. Wow, what a fantastic, detailed review! I was in Bloomington (I played Sandy, the “most disagreeable” of Jackie’s classmates) and even during filming I was in awe of Alison (Catherine). And she really is that tall and gorgeous in person. When I finally got to see the movie I thought it was so beautiful and even better than I hoped. I love reading such a thoughtful review and also a defense of Catherine and Jackie’s love story. I wonder what would happen in a sequel… =)

    • brittlepeanut

      wow, thanks for commenting and sharing your experience!
      I really enjoyed the film and it left me with so many afterhoughts that I needed to write it down.
      I do hope that there’s a sequel eventually…

  3. Peta Morris

    This movie is so inspiratinal and incredible, and I would love to see a sequel happen because I feel like the movie is not done at all. We need a Bloomington2 and maybe Bloomington 3 because this movie is theraphy to so many people watching it out there!!!!!!

  4. uh_huh_me

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Bloomington! The movie certainly stayed with me long after I first saw it yesterday and in your piece you highlight the aspects of the story which resonated with me the most. I’m undoubtedly a romantic at heart and share your hope that Catherine and Jackie’s paths cross again in the future… and that we get to see them again in a sequel!

    • thanks for taking the time to comment~
      the movie stayed with me a long time after i watched it and as a (closet) fellow romantic, i think a whole lot of us are holding out for the sequel~

  5. Nic Holmes

    Saw this movie for the first time today, what a great movie, almost cried when jackie and catherine had all those fights, glad they worked it out in the end though, however like you I feel that the movie is nowhere near finished….we still need to see alot more of their relationship they where awesome together! there HAS to be a sequal!

  6. Sara C.

    And once again this is why i don’t see drama movies, and I’m sure there will be no sequel. 😦
    We need to get the message, A SEQUEL PLEASE !!! Allison and Sarah are incredible.
    Any new information?

  7. Dot

    Dead on review. This is an incredibly touching story, beautifully acted. My heart went out to Catherine. I was totally won over by her in the scene where she picks up Jackie from her uncles house. I love how she reaches out to Jackie and enfolds her, you knew Catherine was in love (she may not have realized it yet, but I felt it). I watch movies about female relationships (obviously with another woman) because they always seem to be so gentle and loving, although I am not gay I do appreciate these stories. I just wish some of them would end Jupiter together!!

    • I know a lot of others would disagree with me, but I truly felt that Jackie and Catherine had a warm loving chemistry during the course of their relationship (in the film).

      If you liked Bloomington, I would recommend another movie, (albeit a slightly different tone) with a rather beautiful female-female relationship, “Imagine Me and You” starring Lena Headey and Piper Perabo. I am still writing in draft about my feelings on that movie, but I found it incredibly romantic and touching too.

      • kathy

        Imagine me and you is so great. Lena Headey may not be a household name, but she was great in that. I enjoyed Bloomington. Like you I was more drawn to Catherine’s story. It was just sad that these relationships in these movies never work out. To me this was like a better version and acted Loving Annabelle.
        Thank you for your review.

      • Thanks for taking the time to reply! Although it’s sad that the relationship didn’t work out, I like how the director created the ending where we could choose to think that perhaps, this wasn’t the end yet. There could be another meeting for the future?

        And I love Lena Headey something fierce~ Dredd and Game of Thrones has been great for me, but I’m hoping to see her in yet another romantic comedy sometime~

      • Tiffany

        Imagine me and you was a fabulous movie!! My wart goes out to Heck (I won’t give any spoilers, but I highly recommend watching it!), but I’m glad that things in the end turned out the way they did for them. It was one of those movies that really lead up to what was meant to be!

        I do like the slower transition between relationships in imagine me and you than Bloomington. I think their relationship developed so fast in Bloomington but I also think that’s in part, due to the storyline after they got together!!

        I love both movies!!

      • I really enjoyed the quiet romance of Imagine Me & You too~ I was tearing up at the “Don’t forget me”, “I won’t remember anything else” bit particularly.

        Not sure if you’ve seen it, but while a little different, I quite enjoyed “Saving Face” too~

  8. Fumiko

    I’ve just re-watched this movie. There is something so alluring about Katherine. Underneath the tough exterior she is warm and caring. There must be sequel! If not the story does feel a bit rushed, and even so one can feel their bond. I’d love to learn more about Catherine and see their relationship blossom.

    • Yes, although i liked Jackie, I was much more drawn to Katherine in the film because she was so much more… complex? There seemed to be still so many layers of her to be uncovered… Although the ending is bittersweet, I like how it was also open to possibilities for a future happy ending (in my mind) even if there is no sequel~

  9. I reall liked your review, seems like we think alike. I also agree wit others’ comments. I honestly hope there’s a sequel, i think this relationship deserves it, and the public too!! Brought so many memories to my mind, i hope they know how much do some girls identify with the characters and the plot. Together with “i cant think straight” , these are the two best romantic movies ive seen that have truly touched my heart.

  10. Sarah Catherine

    I really liked your review! I like that it was positive and defended their relationship, like someone else said. I feel like a lot of the other reviews are so negative. One of my favorite scenes is when Catherine picks Jackie up from her uncle’s house, you can totally see that she cares about her in that scene. And I think it’s so cute that Catherine calls Jackie “porcupine.” I too found Catherine more interesting and I really hope there is a sequel. Alison and Sarah did a great job playing their roles in this movie, and I don’t get why a lot of people hate it. I myself don’t like the ending, but I think optimistically that they found their way back to each other. 🙂

    • I like to think that having a reaction (positive or negative) probably means that the movie did affect or speak to people in a way? Kudos to being an eternal optimist! XD

  11. Thank you for such a wonderful review. You’ve helped me to understand the story because there were a lot of instances wherein I wasn’t able to fully comprehend what was happening in the story. But there’s one that I was concerned about, the thing is, Catherine was the only one who said “I Love You”. I couldn’t help but ask if Jacque loved Catherine, the way Catherine loved Jacque. But I still love the movie though, esp. Catherine’s character. I really hope that there will be a continuation to the open ending of this story. I’ve watched the movie over and over again and I must say that they really look good together. Again, thank you for your wonderful review. 🙂

    • Thanks for replying! And wow, I honestly didn’t pick up on how Catherine was the only one who said, “I love you” too~ I like to think that open endings give us room to dream in a good way? 🙂

    • I am concerned about that too and I hope that there will be a continuation of this movie too. It’s pretty amazing love story even though it is a very unconditional love. I’m still hoping for the second part of the movie. We will wait. 🙂

  12. Love Bloomington, love Catherine and jackie, and love your reviews. I agreed many points in your reviews….andn one truth is i picked up dictionary, there are so many new words that i dont understand, my english is not good, but now finished, totally understand. Just becoz of loving Bloomington 😉

    • Thank you for taking the time to reply and your effort with the dictionary! Just to let you know, I too had to refer to a thesaurus because I was using so many of the same words when I was initially writing my review! 🙂

  13. i’ll need some help later on…budgeting mainly…but I’ve already started writing the sequel….:) So excited!!

  14. fach

    I watched this movie a few days ago, and I immediately fall in love with this. This couple is so cute 🙂 , I love when they around each other and happy. When the first time I saw the ending, I hated it, so much sad 😦 . But after watching many times, I agree with you that their relationship isn’t done yet. They’re still love and care each other. I really need the sequel to see what will happen next. 😀 . Btw, where do you have those pictures ( I mean some stills)?. I see them in official website but I can’t download them :/

  15. Lee

    I’m inlove with this movie.. I hope there will be a sequel..

  16. Lee

    Director Fernanda Cardoso and crew, Sequel Please..

  17. Tiffany

    I can’t stop watching this movie. I notice different things every time! It’s so intriguing to me how their relationship unfolds. It does happen fast, but I feel like they genuinely care about each other. It seems to me that maybe this is the first time that Catherine has let her guard down this much and that is why she says “I love you” when Jackie is still sleeping. I think she wanted to get it out, but wasn’t quite ready to say it to her when she was listening (for fear of unrequited love?)

    I would love a sequel.

    I do have a question, and maybe you can give me your opinion on it..

    The scene towards the end where Catherine is teaching her class about anxiety and no one is respecting her…Catherine is crying. Why is she crying? Does she miss Jackie? Does she feel she made a mistake? If I’m not mistaken, that is before she gets fired, so I’m trying to understand her emotions here and why she was so upset at this point.

    Thank you for your review. I think you were spot on. It goes beyond just a typical romance movie, in that it shows growth and regression in both of the characters. I will have to look up the facebook page and see if I can’t put my two cents in.. I want a sequel!!!

    • Carla

      I believe Catherine was crying because the world as she knew it was falling apart. At that time Jackie and herself had a huge fight, if not broken up. The rumors that both Jackie and Catherine were together were all over the school – so was the case that Jackie fought with the other girl because of it. In all, she felt it was all coming to an end – her relationship with Jackie, and soon her career. The students throwing things at her got the best of her, confirming the above, and she drowned in tears.

    • I pretty much agree with Carla; Catherine’s world was falling apart and she couldn’t quite handle it. I tend to think that a large part of it was because of her relationship with Jackie; the emotional turmoil was something unexpected; probably because of the intensity of what she was feeling with Jackie?

  18. Reblogged this on nostalgicwalks and commented:
    Kudos to the film makers of this movie..it always makes me feel good after every watch..on-repeats..:)

  19. gootgool

    Dose anyone here know the name of the song in bloominton called 32 somthing?? thanks!!

  20. Jen Arndt

    Loved the movie. Like everyone else said, thanks for your take on the film. Got confused a cpl times but with your help, I understand:)…Maybe Im wrong but though the 2 are straight in real life, either they were exceptional actors or there was a little spark in their eyes with each other at times on set. Not saying their gay or bi, by all means but a light in their eyes on a few occasions. Ok, I dont know what Im trying to say lol….I would have a light too if I was kissing Catherine. Shes a HOTTIE:)….anyway great film, hoping for a Bloomington 2 BUT with same actors. Thanks again for your take on the film.

    • Thanks for taking the time to reply~

      I’m equally enamoured with our lovely couple in the story (hence this lengthy review-take) and no matter if a sequel happens or not, I think how the story sticks with you in bits is a lovely tribute to the strength of the film! 🙂

  21. The ending of this film makes me so sad. This is such a lovely story and I wanted it to go on 😦

    • While it’s sad to finish a love story that we enjoyed; I recall a quote from, Marianne Williamson, “Every ending is a new beginning.” Think good things in the future for our lovely couple~ 🙂

  22. Sandra

    Don’t know if you saw it, but there was an alternative ending, but they don’t used it.

    “The question and answer afterwards revealed that Bloomington too had an alternate ending, one that set back some characters to where they started the film. In restrospect, the ending that was decided upon was a better choice, since it does make the relationship between Jackie and Catherine legitimate.”

    http://www.pressplus1.com/film/how-to-drive-a-plane-in-heels-vancouver-queer-film-festival-august-15th

    I really really love this film and it NEEDS a sequel 😉

    • Eeks! I totally didn’t know there was an alternate ending! Setting the characters back where they started sounds like Jackie and Catherine were going to act like their whole relationship never happened… I’m pretty glad that they went with the current ending now… (0o0);;;

      Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading about actress Stoffur’s tongue in cheek answer to the reporter~

  23. Jen

    I just watched this movie 3 times and I don’t think I will ever tire of it. I feel for Katherine but at the same time there is still some anxiety within me because she is much older than Jackie. Jackie just looks so young although she’s suppose to be in her 20s in this film. I feel like Katherine fell harder for JAckie than Jackie has for Katherine. And is it Katherine’s fault for what happens in the end bc Jackie is a younger student that could be seen as an older woman taking advantage of her. I don’t think that’s the case but it’s not commone (I don’t think it is) for a prof to get involved with a student. What makes this film so great is the actresses. Katherine is drop dead gorgeous. Her beauty and confidence is why I can watch this film over and over even though I am not gay/bi. I want a sequel with the same actress playing Katherine definitely. I don’t know what I exactly want to happen in the sequel but maybe that’s why there hasn’t been one. What makes this movie so great is the feeling of wanting more in the end.

    • PopperFree

      Likewise Jen, saw this film 3 times TODAY (not exaggerating). I loved the movie. The reversal of self denial line hit me. It kinda relate something personal to me. Not like the other gay/bi films I’ve watched, this I had the feeling of looking forward to every scene and the Jackie-Catherine was indeed was a great couple on screen.

      Nice review by the way, love it. =)

      • I think the reversal of self-denial now seeps into my everyday life but it’s pretty useful. When I tell myself not to want something, I tend to double check myself to see if being too repressed about it will cause a bad backlash in the future.

        Thanks for your kind comment~

    • To be honest, the professor and student question was a major question mark in my mind. But till today, I’m not entirely sure if the discomfort arose from the ethics of a teacher-student liaison or really more from a physical viewpoint of height differences and simply because actress Stoffur looks rather young for her age?

      I admittedly justified it before with how Catherine isn’t her actual professor and how Jackie isn’t that naive but I do agree that Catherine has more responsibility in pushing forward with their relationship since she would probably be aware of far-reaching consequences but chose not to heed it.

      • Penka

        Hi, brittlepeanut, thank you for sharing your thoughts about the film! I totally agree with you and the rest, who wrote here, that the film is interesting and worth being watched.
        Actually, at first glance, the film looks similar to many other stories – the topic of the hidden love affair between a young female teacher and a female student, that ends up in the teacher’s firing, is not rarely explored (e.g. “Loving Annabelle”).
        What is precious here, though, is the fact that the film is not restricted to the frames of the story. The story “teacher-student love affair” is just the background, used for the exploration of two specific types of women’ characters (named in the film “Jackie” and “Catherine”) that are put in a love affair situation.
        What type of characters are Catherine Stark and Jackline Kirk?
        The introductive information of the film gives a hint of how the outer world perceives these two women:
        Catherine Stark, according to the students’ rumours, is a ‘vampire’, an insatiable woman, who sleeps both with male and female students, cold, heartless, unsusceptible. And at the beginning of the film, the viewer, no matter of his sympathy towards her, has a back-thought in his head – what has happened to all her student lovers, is she completely honest to Jackie or she is just looking for a kind of an amusement?
        Jackie, on the contrary, is liked by her classmates and the director of the college, she is famous, but not swell-headed. The film viewer knows that she is not a Miss Innocent & Easily Impressionable (thank you, brittlepeanut, for the exact description), but still accepts her as a sensitive girl, who needs to escape from the ill curiosity of the public and from her cold mother.
        As the story goes, the filmmaker changes the aspect of view and brings us closer to Catherine and Jackie:
        “Stark” in English means “deserted” (stark landscape), “pitiless” (stark reality), while in German it means “strong (and healthy)”, used in positive connotation (for memory, man, nature, hand, state, party, voice, wine, tobacco, rain, verb)). This variety of different meanings in her name suggests that she is more complex than expected. And she is.
        She does things her own way and by her own understanding. She has her own style (even such a simple act as writing with a pencil instead of on a computer depicts this). What is considered by some of the students as coldness is actually her intolerance towards stupidity and ill manners. She is a delicate person – delicate as a physique (without being feeble – Jackie: “You are stronger than you look”), delicate in making love (Jackie – “What should I do now?” Catherine – “What do you want to do?” Jackie – “I don’t know” Catherine – “You are scared … Don’t be….”), delicate in her conversations (when talking in the kitchen about Jackie’s giving up acting – “Sorry, am I too intrusive?”). And she is lonely – she has lost her family at the age of 15 and does not have really close friends (she spends Christmas evenings alone and working). Her loneliness, though, does not turn her into an egoist – although she understands quite well that she will lose Jackie if Jackie starts her acting career again, she encourages her to proceed. There are also other moments of self-denial, that are typical for Catherine. She agrees to go out with Jackie to the party, although she does not feel at ease of doing it and she accepts Jackie in her house in front of the paparazzi taking pictures of her. And, please, pay attention that the episode with the paparazzi takes place after the quarrel between them two, in which Jackie leaves Catherine without trying to calm her down.
        Jackie, on the other hand, is egoistic in her behaviour. She withdraws from their relationship at the very moment Catherine expresses her pain and fears of losing her. Jackie does not even make an attempt to comfort Catherine and to try to convince her that they can stay together, regardless of the circumstances. This coldness reminds of Jackie mother’s cold behavour. Moreover, Jackie threatens thoughtlessly and egoistically Catherine’s reputation when bringing the paparazzi, just because she needs to be solaced after the quarrel with her class-mate.
        All acts of Catherine’s self-denial and Jackie’s egoism finally turn against Catherine. She is about to lose one of her main anchors in life – her work. This situation faces her “with a real external imposition”. This is the culmination point of the story – what will Catherine do – how will Catherine react to this “emotional turmoil” – will she scream with pain, will she accuse Jackie for the injustice and humiliation of being mocked and fired, said in other words – will she act as the theory of reversal of self-denial predicts?
        The answer which the film gives is amazingly beautiful – Catherine collects her strength and just lets Jackie go free, without imposing on her the burden of guilt. And without ruining the beauty of the past love moments. The theory of self-denial has its exceptions and Catherine is one of them.
        I think that the prolongation of this film will be a serious challenge for the film makers. Because they have to fight to keep these two special types of characters as vivid and individualized as possible.

  24. TNT B

    Awesome review! Jackie is with an adult beverage in many scenes, but never actually took a single sip from any of them though.

  25. Julene

    I watched this movie and I was left yearning for more. I hope they do have a sequel and they do get back together. In love with this movie

  26. erika

    I just re-watch the movie and I agree with your reviews. Beautiful and much more enjoyable than other similar movies (i.e.: Loving Annabelle), plus it was a low budget film.
    Catherine was probably a more complex character than Jackie. Even though there’s a lot left unspoken, there are so many questions about her that it is impossible not to fall in love with her! I liked the fact that Catherine and Jackie are far from alike, which made the relationship so interesting. I don’t see the issue of the age difference (even though I must admit that Jackie looks younger than 22) and for the height problem part I saw it as a reflection of the characters’ disparities. After the BTS videos now I know it was just a coincidence though! I loved how they portrayed the two of them caring for each other. On the one hand Jackie with her visible fragilities and on the other Catherine and her apparent coldness. I don’t know if it was a conscious choice or not, but I enjoyed how they just hinted the complexity of their past, especially for Catherine.
    Last but not least, thumbs up for both the actresses 🙂

  27. angel

    I just found out that such movie exist last week and I really fell in love with it especially with the characters like Catherine. I was really drawn to her because of how she is with jackie. I agree that Catherine is more inlove with jackie than jackie is to catherine. Catherine no matter how guarded she is always lets her guard down to jackie. I love how passionate, caring and sensitive she is. I just hope there would be a sequel and Jackie and Catherine are brought back together because they deserve to be with each other. I just can’t see them with anybody else in the movie and I’m really a sucker for happy endings. hehe 🙂

    Btw, I’m straight but I don’t have any issues with gay/bisexual people because I have friends who are and they are awesome. So, I don’t really have a hard time watching the film. Honestly, I watched it several times a day starting last week because I really fell inlove with it and I always find myself after watching the whole movie playing the scenes wherein there’s so much love between the main characters. My favorite scene though is the airplane scene where catherine faced her fears with the help of Jackie and then later on the bed admits how she really feels to the sleeping Jackie. These scenes are just plain sweet.

    Really hoping and looking forward to a SEQUEL!

  28. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.|

  29. Ashley

    It seems after all these years, readers are still finding this particular post 🙂 Thank you writing this, as I guess the reason I was looking in the first place for expositions such as yours was exactly are you said: sometimes after watching a film, it takes up a little space in my head and won’t go away until it’s had its say. I think my first reaction to watching Bloomington was disgust at the ending, because I was in kind of a funk looking for a lesbian movie with a happy ending (where I then watched like 10 of them)… and because the actors did such an amazing job, at the end of the movie I was just kind of like WTF keep going!!! Thus, “disgust” isn’t really the right word here. Not at all. And after thinking about it more and more, I’m pretty sure I proceeded to watch this movie on repeat at least 5 more times. Even though the actual filming time was no more than 3 weeks, the cast and crew did an amazing job of capturing subtle nuances and delicate expressions throughout the whole movie. It’s really such a delicate and lovely relationship Catherine and Jackie have going on, and I couldn’t help but watch all the little movements and exchanges between them- all the little microexpressions. Artfully captured. What amazing actresses Sarah and Allison are to pull off what they did. But seriously, where is Bloomington 2?! I want more! I want to see the characters developed more… I want to some of that enigma revealed… and really to see the happy ending, haha. So all things said, I really was looking for something someone wrote that would make me feel more at peace with the cliffhanger ending. I’m a very creative person, but I don’t always like using my imagination. XD You’re an eloquent and fun blogger… keep on keeping on!

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