TIFF ’23: Solo

Written and directed by Sophie Dupuis, Solo introduces the world to Simon (Theodore Pellerin), a fiery drag artist who lights up the stage nightly. Vibrant and filled with youthful fire, Simon finds himself distracted when he encounters Olivier (Felix Maritaud), the charming drag artist that joins the troupe. Just as the two spark up a romance together, Simon’s long-estranged mother returns. Between her sudden arrival and the toxicity rising within his new relationship, Simon is torn between worlds and finds himself attempting to please everyone in his life.

Set amidst the worlds of trans-dancers, Solo is more than a story of music and pomp. Instead, this is a tale about finding one’s soul when there are those around you who seek to steal it away from you. Although he lives with his sister, Simon’s career seems to be on the rise. He is confident and self-assured with an audience that pays to see him. 

However, we soon begin to see cracks in the façade. 

There’s a certain beauty to Solo in the way that it cares for its characters. Despite its numerous musical numbers, Solo’s emphasis truly is on Simon’s well-being. Similar to the acts that they perform, the music and make up only deflects from the emptiness that they feel when they are not on stage. Like everyone else, they are looking for answers in the world that does not always understand them—and performing provides moments of clarity that cannot be undervalued.

Solo is now playing at TIFF ’23. For more information, click here.

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