Pedro Pascal’s queer cowboy film Strange Way of Life premieres in Cannes – and the verdict is in

New look at Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke in Strange Way of Life.

Queer Western Strange Way of Life, starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, has finally had its premiere after being talked about and speculated on for months – and the first reviews are in.

The 30-minute film, from legendary gay director Pedro Almodóvar, was screened yesterday (17 May) at the Cannes Film Festival.

Starring The Last of Us actor and internet daddy Pascal as former gunslinger Silva, and Dead Poet Society’s Hawke as town sheriff Jake, Strange Way of Life has frequently been dubbed an/the answer to seminal queer cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain.

The trailer teased as much, as it featured Pascal and Hawke switching between threatening each other with a gun, and tenderly embracing, with Jake planting a sweet kiss on Silva’s neck.

As a concept – that concept being Pedro Pascal being queer in literally anything – Strange Way of Life has had gay Twitter in a chokehold for months. Now, the reviews are in.

While Almodóvar recently said that the film is “erotic” but not “explicit sexually”, reviews suggest there’s still a “hint of kink”.

You may like to watch

According to The Guardian, the two reunite after 25 years apart, and the connection between them becomes “too intense to resist”. Cue some handy camera work that makes that clear and the pair swiftly head to the bedroom after finishing a reunion meal.

Hawke’s character seems to regret the moment of passion the next day, when it becomes clear that he is chasing down Joe, Silva’s son, played by model and actor George Steane.

Despite being praised for “tense and poignant scenes” between the two leads as their conflict grows, one Variety reviewer declared that Strange Way of Life is “half-baked [and] barely delivered” on the expectation held by many when the film was dubbed as a gay Western.

While it’s been said that viewers will be treated to a “fleeting shot of Pascal’s butt”, Deadline has revealed that the “sex really isn’t seen”, other than during a flashback featuring the younger versions of Jake (Jason Fernández) and Silva (José Condessa).

However, the publication praises the film as “revolutionary in its own quiet way”, with Pascal and Hawke delivering “polar opposite” and “believable” characters who subtly tell the homoerotic history of their relationship.

Others who watched the film demanded a full-length version be released, with Hawke and Pascal being the “melodramatic” Western lovers that we’ve “always wanted”, while one reviewer suggested that the film has “real meaning and humanity”, and is not “camp and melodrama” as the film’s poster suggests.

Hawke and Almodóvar received a “brief but enthusiastic” standing ovation from the audience at the screening, while filming conflicts meant Pascal was unable to be there.

So, overall, it’s a mixed bag. But still, Pascal doing anything queer is always going to get the gays hot under the collar – and buying tickets.

No cinema release date has been confirmed for Strange Way of Life.