Frankie, an aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn, is having a miserable summer. With his father dying and his mother wanting him to find a girlfriend, Frankie escapes the bleakness of his home life by causing trouble with his delinquent friends and flirting with older men online. When his chatting and webcamming intensify, he finally starts hooking up with guys at a nearby cruising beach while simultaneously entering into a cautious relationship with a young woman. As Frankie struggles to reconcile his competing desires, his decisions leave him hurtling toward irreparable consequences.
Writer-director Eliza Hittman’s short film Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight played the Festival in 2011. Her first feature, It Felt Like Love, premiered at the 2013 Festival and put her on the map as someone to watch. Beach Rats fulfills the promise of her previous films and takes Hittman’s career to a whole new level. With a smoldering lead performance from newcomer Harris Dickinson, this exquisitely crafted, scrupulously authentic, dark, and dangerous film propels Eliza Hittman into a league with the greats.