More Beautiful for Having Been Broken

Drama, 1h 51m

More Beautiful is the story of three women whose lives intersect at Lakeside resort and are further changed by the love of a special needs boy.


An achingly beautiful and inspired love story…where the broken overcomes adversity and celebrates love

Nicole Conn’s new feature film More Beautiful For Having Been Broken (2019) follows McKenzie (Zoë Ventoura), who also goes by Max, as she returns to Lake Mervielle after her mother’s death in an attempt to tackle her grief and trauma. Lake Mervielle, which was a vacation spot for Max and her mother when she was a child, provides the backdrop of the vast, beautiful, northern Californian landscape. The film’s opening sequence with Max driving through the mountains immediately attaches her to the natural world, and when Max begins running around the lake in the event of a non-existent internet connection, Conn really emphasises the importance of connecting with the land. Conn also draws emphasis on puzzles, and the line, “it isn’t until you put all those pieces together that you can actually see the big picture,” truly lays the foundations for the spectatoral viewing of the film. Not being able to understand everything until the end fills More Beautiful For Having Been Broken with drama, twists, turns, and all kinds of tension. Of course, the film also keeps in line with Conn’s previous films like Elena Undone (2010) and A Perfect Ending (2012), because really, nobody does a mysterious dark-haired dyke like Nicole Conn. As well, the love/hate dynamic between Max and Samantha (Kayla Radomski), creates the perfect build-up of lesbian romance that is so true to Conn’s filmmaking.

It’s clear that More Beautiful For Having Been Broken is an incredibly personal piece for Conn, and the exploration of loss in the film sits heavy for anyone watching. The omniscient narration throughout the film evokes deep fillings nostalgia and hindsight, which acts as a reminder to make the most of every second of life. This film pays homage to the most important people in Conn’s life, including her daughter, Gabrielle, who plays a character of the same name, and the way Conn delicately depicts intimate parts of her life makes More Beautiful For Having Been Broken an incredibly poignant piece of lesbian cinema.

More Beautiful For Having Been Broken is a beautiful exploration of loss and trauma, in which Nicole Conn creates a film so personal and intimate – definitely one to watch!

Watch the trailer

The Techy bit

To find out more about the cast, crew, genre and where you can get this film, check out the LesFlicks Film Database.

This review was written by:



Film Reviewer

London-based Film Baby studying a film MA specialising in lesbian film.