Sam (Elliot Page) has a chance encounter with an old friend (Hillary Baack) on his way home to a dreaded family reunion that forces him to confront long-buried memories.


Special Presentations

Close To You

Dominic Savage

Sam (Elliot Page) hasn’t been home since his transition, and after four years in Toronto, he takes a long-dreaded trip back to Cobourg for his father’s birthday. On the train there, he runs into Katherine (Hillary Baack), a friend from high school with her own complicated life now, and feelings from their unresolved past begin to bubble to the surface. It’s a serendipitous encounter, as Sam worries about seeing his family after so much time apart — not for fear that they’ll reject him, but because of the unsolicited comments and questions he’ll receive about his transition, placing the weight of his family’s ignorance and discomfort squarely on his shoulders.

Close to You is an emotionally observant drama about coming home as yourself, only for everyone to treat you like a completely different person. It’s a powerful new film from star and producer Page, capturing an all-too-familiar experience, as Sam exercises patience with his family’s baseline acceptance and well-intentioned clumsiness. It isn’t long before he has to put himself first to free himself from a burden that is his family’s to reckon with, and live unapologetically as the person he has always been.

With an honest and fully felt performance, Page shows us Sam’s fraught process of trying to reconnect with the people he grew apart from as he became more himself, and coping with the dread of returning to a space that never felt fully welcoming to begin with. Director Dominic Savage (The Escape, TIFF ’17) creates a series of intimate spaces for the many conversations in the film, which features a stellar Canadian cast. In the end, Katherine is the person Sam finds solace in, as they both turn the page to new and brighter chapters in their lives.


Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival


Sun Sep 10

Royal Alexandra Theatre

Mon Sep 11

TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Mon Sep 11

Scotiabank 13

Thu Sep 14

Scotiabank 4