Blue Jean

Blue Jean

United Kingdom | 2022 | 97 min. | Georgia Oakley

As Section 28 is set to pass (the late-’80s set of British laws that prohibited the promotion of homosexuality), a closeted P.E. teacher’s life unravels when a bullied new student discovers her secret and threatens her career.

In 1988, at the height of the Thatcher Premiership, the UK's Conservative government passed the Local Government Act, of which Section 28 prohibited local authorities from promoting homosexuality. Against this backdrop, director Georgia Oakley's debut feature explores this specific moment in British history with beautiful empathy. The eponymous Jean teaches P.E. at a northeast England secondary school, also serving as the popular head coach for the school's netball team. In her personal life, she has recently embarked upon her first queer relationship with Viv, hanging out at a gay club after work with a circle of out and proud lesbian friends. Jean's profession makes this choice a more difficult feat for herself. When a new pupil, Lois, joins the netball team, her frumpy appearance leads to homophobic taunts from Sinead, the team's star player. Jean is understandably protective of her new student, but when Lois by chance visits the bar one night, it leads to a claustrophobic frisson between Jean's professional and private lives. Rose McEwen gives a masterfully accomplished performance conveying Jean's struggle to live authentically in a world that actively shuns her identity.

Dan Doody

  • Director: Georgia Oakley
  • Principal Cast: Rosy McEwen, Kerrie Hayes, Lucy Halliday
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2022
  • Running Time: 97 min.
  • Producer: Hélène Sifre
  • Screenplay: Georgia Oakley
  • Cinematographers: Victor Seguin
  • Editors: Izabella Curry
  • Music: Chris Roe
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Venice Film Festival 2022 (People’s Choice Award)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • US Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
  • International Sales: Magnolia Pictures