Morgan (Leo Minaya) is no longer a “legger.” That is the term he coined for people who still have the use of their legs; unlike him. Thanks to the bad fall during a bike race through central park, Morgan is now a paraplegic, an athlete adjusting to life in a wheelchair. Resistant to any real effort to forge a new life for himself, Morgan sits in front of the television drinking; that is until he runs out of beer.
It is on this first journey out in the world – on a quest for alcohol – that he co-incidentally meets ex-military Dean (Jack Kesy) on a basketball court. They trade tips on shooting hoops until by accident or perhaps awkward design, Dean asks Morgan out.
A fast friendship grows into something serious, but the couple proceeds with caution. Dean accepts that Morgan does not do public displays of affection while Morgan struggles to accept that his disability does not matter to Drew. Everything is going great until Morgan’s neglect of his financial responsibilities catches up with him. He ignores his doctors, determined to compete in his years race. His obsession with winning surfaces as he forsakes al other obligations for a chance to race again, to not be defeated by that fateful, treacherous turn on the race course that took away his ability to walk.
Will Morgan be able to move forward with his new life with Dean, or will his obsessive competitiveness be his undoing – again?
I enjoyed watching the evolution of his relationship, watching it blossom into a romance. Director Michael Akers paces this film wisely, allowing his characters time and space to reveal their flaws and fears. Morgan and Dean’s progression from intimacy to impasse feels very organic and fittingly disenchanting. Spot-on yet understated, the chemistry between leading men Leo Minaya and Jack Kesy is rich with heat and sensitivity.
Morgan is not a sophisticated film, but it is a very human one. Morgan has an abundance of heart and speaks to the travails of the disabled in a way that is rarely addressed in cinema, queer or otherwise. Well Done.
Morgan is an official selection of Outfest: The 30th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival happening July 12-22, 2012 in Downtown Los Angeles and in select theatres around Los Angeles & Hollywood.