His unfussy direction never gets in the way of the story and the subject matter is delicately handled without feeling preachy or ever veering anywhere close to melodrama. Lobo and Audi are very appealing as the two young friends whose initial friendship grows into something else, but Ribeiro is also keen on addressing the dissolution of the long-forged companionship between Leonardo and Giovanna. This is where much of the film's conflict comes from, and it's refreshing to see the director isn't hung up on trying to address the more negative social consequences which can stem from such a relationship. That desire to maintain an upbeat feeling even in the face of adversity is best illustrated in the wonderfully understated ending, where a simple gesture is more emotionally impactful than an infinite number of Hollywood teen films could ever muster. Moving and heartfelt, The Way He Looks will leave you with a spring in your step and questioning why more films of this nature aren't made for a younger audience.
Adam Lowes | @adlow76