Sidney is an aging glam rocker who works as a drag queen in a seedy, decrepit bar. After his ex-girlfriend disappears, Sidney is forced to look after his 11-year-old-son, George, full time. His “cool dad” façade quickly falls apart, and his life goes into a full tailspin as he struggles to let go of his rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
Perfectly portrayed by the film’s cowriter Tomas Pais, Sidney sports chipped multicolored nails, a worn-out leopard-print jacket, and bright yellow hair, evocative of the look David Bowie touts on the cover of his Hunky Dory album. Sidney spends most of his down-and-out existence performing late-night drag at a dive bar, drinking and smoking, fending off unwanted advances from strange men, and paying visits to a surprisingly vast array of folks around town—friends, retired drag queens, and sugar mamas and daddies—asking for money.
As Sidney realizes that his ex may never return for George, he grows increasingly panic stricken, knowing and fearing that he and his lifestyle may be unfit for taking care of his son permanently. Hunky Dory is every man’s and every woman’s story. Perhaps not to the degree Sidney takes it, but in relation to the things we have to do to get where our heart wants to be. This film reminds us that real love is often within reach, but we are often too bruised and too broken to see or try and claim it.
Official Selection: 2016 Slamdance Film Festival