I always had the impression that Freddie Highmore was gay. I don't know why -- I've never actually seen him in anything, and apparently he has only played a non-straight character once, on Bates Motel: after being presented as a horny straight teenager for five seasons, psycho-in-training Norman Bates hooks up with a guy. He states that he has been hooking up with men a lot, but only when being controlled by his dead mother. Because, you know, he's psychotic. So there's no such thing as same-sex desire, just psychotic transgender people. I can't even think of the words.
But I conducted the research after going through the bank-heist movie The Vault, to see if Freddie's character, boy-genius Thom, would be gay. The trailer shows no boy-girl kiss, plus lingering stare between Thom and James (Sam Riley).
Of course, directors use lingering stares to represent both romantic attraction and threat. So which is it?
There are two lingering stares.
1. Thom is introduced to the team. James stares because he is overcome by growling, snarling hatred: "You expect me to work with this arrogant, impertinent, ignorant, impudent, self-righteous jerk? It's all I can do to keep from bashing his face in." Sounds bad, but movies and tv shows use "arrogant" as code for "sexy." Maybe James is overreacting to his attraction.
2. James can't go in to do the engineering job, because he was in interpol, so face recognition systems will catch him. They need an unknown. Thom volunteers to do it.
James snarls. "You impudent, arrogant, insufferable bitch! You think you can just walk in and do a job that takes 20 years of training and immense talent? There are only three or four people in the world besides me who can do it, and you think you're good enough? Maybe tomorrow you can write a sonata for us, Mr. Mozart! And the day after that, perform heart surgery! You're not even qualified to shine my shoes. It's all I can do to keep from bashing your face in!"
But to be fair, Sam Riley seems to have dropped out of acting school after the "displaying raw hatred" class. He doesn't know how to express any other emotion; everyone else gets the same treatment. He smiles briefly at minute 55, when Thom notes that he's having trouble with the assignment.
Thom and James can't do the heist together, because of that face recognition thing (and because James would bash his face in the minute they were alone). So it has to be Freddie and a girl. They haven't had any scenes alone together, but he saves her from something or other, and they kiss. Boo!
Is it physically impossible for screenwriters to avoid a boy-girl kiss? "Let's see, this movie is about a bank heist, so what should happen next? Help, my keyboard is clicking on its own! It's putting in a boy-girl kiss! But the two haven't expressed any romantic interest at all. It makes no sense! Stop, keyboard, stop!"