Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not the most "feel-good" movie ever made!


Boys Don't Cry
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Cast: Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard
Released: 10/22/99

Oscar nominations:
Best Actress - Hilary Swank (won)
Best Supporting Actress - Chloe Sevigny (lost to Angelina Jolie for Girl, Interrupted)

You know how some families have movie night and watch a movie the entire family can enjoy? Well, this is not one of those movies that would fall into that category. In fact, this movie is not for everyone. I've only seen it twice and it was very hard to watch both times. After seeing it, it leaves you feeling depressed and exhausted. It had been nine years since I originally saw it, so it almost felt like I was seeing it for the first time again, though of course I remembered the rape and murder scenes quite vividly because scenes like those you just don't forget.

This isn't one of my favorite movies (far from it), but Swank's performance is one of my favorite Oscar-winning performances of all time. I'm glad the Academy awarded her even though she wasn't too well-known at the time (I may have seen The Next Karate Kid, but I'm sure plenty of people didn't) and BDC was a small film. Of course, the Academy does love to award tragic stories, especially when actors are portraying real people, so Swank playing Teena Brandon, a girl (or transgender, I guess) from Lincoln, Nebraska (and this movie makes me so proud to be from Nebraska! :::rolls eyes:::) who "posed" as a boy and was murdered in 1993 when she was outed was the ultimate Oscar-winning role.

Actually, Swank really can pass for a boy. A skinny, wimpy boy who has a smooth face and hasn't quite gone through puberty, but still, I could believe it. Or maybe she can at least pass for androgynous. If you think about it, it's pretty amazing that she went from this:

to this:

Like the character she portrays, Swank was born in Lincoln, but unlike Brandon, she didn't spend most of her life here since she moved to Washington state at a young age. I remember when the movie was getting a lot of attention, the local newspeople were going crazy. Not because the movie takes place in Nebraska (because, really, it's not the kind of movie you want your state to be represented by) but because Hilary Swank was born in Lincoln and she was getting a lot of Oscar buzz and I remember they went to the house she lived in when she was a baby and talked to the people who currently lived there and asked what it was like to live in the house where a (most-likely) future Oscar winner had grown up in. It was kinda funny. That's the kind of entertainment news you get when you live in Nebraska, folks!

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