The movie

The Shiny Shrimps

a ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’-esque panache

Length: 103 min
Country: Frankrijk
Language spoken: Frans
Language subtitles: Nederlands
Cast: Alban Lenoir, Nicolas Gob, Geoffrey Couët, Michaël Abiteboul
Director: Maxime Govare, Cédric le Gallo
Release date: 2020


Olympic swimmer Matthias le Goff (Nicolas Gob) makes a homophobic comment on live television and sees his career go up in smoke. The only way to save it is to take his imposed sentence: coaching the Shiny Shrimps, an amateur gay water polo team, and qualifying them for the Gay Games in Croatia. With his strict work ethic, Matthias has only one goal in mind and that is to win. However, the eccentric water polo team would rather shine on the dance floor than excel in the pool. As the team hits the road for Croatia, this charmer brings a ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’-esque panache to the proceedings. ‘A huge hit in its native France, the story is ripped from co-director Cédric Le Gallo’s experiences playing for a gay water-polo team actually called The Shiny Shrimps — “shrimps” because they are water-based, “shiny” because they are fabulous — but transforms the reality into gleeful, fizzy, big-hearted fun… The screenplay mostly avoids clichéd gay stereotypes to create a diverse bunch of men at different life stages with different obstacles to overcome.. Le Gallo and Govare’s handling of tone is masterful, seamlessly shifting from broad comedy to intimate moments of drama without ever grinding the gears.’—Ian Freer, Empire magazine