Throwback Thursday: My Own Private Idaho

With My Own Private Idaho (only his third film at the time), director Gus Van Sant proved himself one of the most daring, innovative and accomplished directors of his day.

 

River Phoenix‘s portrayal of Mike, a solitary, narcoleptic street hustler searching for his long-lost mother is not only brilliant, it’s his finest performance. Keanu Reeves gives strong support as the slumming Scott, his beautiful but shallow straight friend and the unresponsive object of Mike’s love. The nighttime desert scene in which Phoenix professes his love for Reeves (partially improvised by Phoenix) is both a heartbreaking and startlingly perfect moment in gay film-making.

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