Directed by:Kimberly Peirce.
Starring: Hilary Swank, ChloŽ Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III.
"You want your mother to lock you up again, is that it? Is that what you want? Then why don't you just admit your a dyke?
...Because I'm not a dyke."
The story follows Teena Brandon, born a female, she has something that many see as a disease or a disorder...she has a sexual identity crisis. A rebel and a thief, she skips town to Falls City, Nebraska, where she takes the identity of Brandon Teena, successfully pulling off a man and fitting in with the town folk and falling in love, while saving for her wanted sex change. But when her true identity and her lies are brought out, she is caught up in something that should never be confronted.
I'm still left breathless from this film, under its gritty coating lies an intensity and power so great, that as soon as the shocking end hits, including and graphic and intense 20 minutes before that, I couldn't touch the stop button all through the credits (even if I do sometimes watch them). Kimberly Peirce is one hell of a gifted filmmaker. Her visual style is so gritty and surreal and with the brilliantly paced and profound instrumental music, the tone is so real and its what the topic deserves. That's another thing as well, I think the best way to watch this film is to be unknown to it beforehand, because as soon as I clicked onto it being actual events by the end, it made it that much more unsettling. These real events (for the most part) that unfold are used to Kimberly Peirce's advantage...I know that sounds bad, saying that these shocking and very real events are the advantage of the film, but they help her to develop these characters as they should be. I thought I could have hated the film by the end, mainly because of such an unlikable main character. She is one full of lies and deceit...and a rebel and thief by nature and she pulls an unexpected family into this trap...but I was so compelled by her development and her story and her love interests slightly misunderstood, but very true and forgiving connection...and the performances add to that.
Hilary Swank won that Oscar for a reason. Not only did she come out of nowhere and show such dedication to the role in her transformation, as you would expect from actor, but she shows the right amount of southern charm and unexpected depth that is needed for such a role, not only does she look like a convincing boy, but she convinces you that she is from the first frame, while leaving that underlying knowledge or hint that she really is a girl. ChloŽ Sevigny was left with just a nomination and I am shocked. She is a crucial character to the story and one reason the film worked was because of her spot-on performance. She is another that shows depth and vulnerability for her role and shes a site to see, from her trailer trash persona to her convincing love for Brandon, shes shows a lot of potential at being a brilliant actress.Peter Sarsgaard has always had a very likable charisma about him and theres no difference here...until his change of character that is so chillingly realistic and intense, he shows another side of his brilliance.
Intense, Surreal, Brutal, Shocking...Real. Boy's Don't Cry is an unexpectedly outstanding film with brilliant performances that can't be judged on entertainment value, but only on the sheer showmanship and craftsmanship in each element of the film and the difficult topic is used respectably and never exploited.
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