FEMME Review: Nail-Biting, White-Knuckle Queer Thriller

Editor, News; Toronto, Canada (@Mack_SAnarchy)
FEMME Review: Nail-Biting, White-Knuckle Queer Thriller
Jules is a celebrated and loved drag artist in London. One night, they are the victim of a horrific homophobic attack that nearly destroys their life and career. Broken, Jules no longer performs and spends their days playing video games until one day they listen to the pleas of their housemates, Toby and Alicia, to get out of the flat for once. 
Jules goes to a gay sauna where they discover one of their attackers, Preston, a deeply-closeted brute who is more concerned about their reputation with their flat mates than exploring their sexuality or a relationship. Unable to match Preston's physical ferocity, Jules hatches a plan of revenge to take them down. 
Femme is a nail-biting, white-knuckle queer thriller from directors and writers Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping. Based on their original short, it is a story about revenge and anger, secretive sexuality and relationships. It holds a tension that threatens to break out into further violence, even the possibility of death. 
Femme's two leads, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Jules and George MacKay as Preston, are nothing short of amazing. Jules goes from a broken being to a resurrection with confidence and empowerment. Opposite Jules, Preston goes from anger and rage to openess and empathy. 
As Jules gains confidence and finds their groove, there is a power shift in this fragile relationship. It begins when Jules find themselves in the 'den of lions' with Preston's mates at the apartment. These are blokes who would turn on you in a second, equal to the task of putting a hurt on someone. Yet they have found common ground with Jules in the same video game. 
It is a way for Freeman and Ping to say, hey, it should not matter who sleeps with who, this should be a non-issue. Still, we understand they can never know Preston and Jules are in a relationship for fear of a violent fallout, part of the external threat to this relationship. 
With this shift of power, Jules brings a soft influence on Preston's character, along with an understanding of emotional and physical intimacy on Preston's behalf. With this shift also comes ... empathy from Jules? Will they be willing to go through with their plan to destroy Preston's reputation and possilby their life? This is what Jules wanted at first, before they brought their plan into action. They needed Preston to be vulnerable and to open themselves up, so that Jules could exploit them. 
Still, we watch in fear, wondering if there will be fallout that comes from discvoering Jules' plan. Can Jules and Preston let go of anger that consumes them both? Preston uses anger and rage to cover the guilt and shame they feel for being gay. Jules uses anger to fuel a desire to get revenge on Preston. Can either let go of anger and live and love? 
(Amendment: Somewhere in the publishing of this review the first time around, the text reverted back to a draft/notes form. Ain't technology grand? The text has been rewritten to best represent its original form and spirit.)
Review originally published during Fantasia in July 2023. The film opens Friday, March 22, at the IFC Center in New York, March 29 in Chicago and Los Angeles, and nationwide on April 5. Visit the official site for more information.


  • Sam H. Freeman
  • Ng Choon Ping
  • Sam H. Freeman
  • Ng Choon Ping
  • George MacKay
  • Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
  • Aaron Heffernan
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George MacKayNathan Stewart-JarrettNg Choon PingSam H. FreemanAaron HeffernanThriller

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