After all the hype about this film, I picked up a copy at the local video store. I had heard great things about it and how it really told it "like it is" but I wasn't expecting the horrific violence and sadness of it. I was somehow hoping that this would have a good ending or give some sort of positive affirmation.
My overwhelming feeling about this film is one of sadness. I did not find one redeeming quality that made me smile or feel good about anything in it. Everyone loses and loses big in this picture.
The basic gist is a bunch of losers in the midwest going nowhere meet up with "Brandon" who was really a girl but passed as a man. She did look like a prepubscent boy but in no way looked like a man. The whole idea that people believed her was implausible. Brandon's actions were too pitiful to identify as she repeatedly put herself into dangerous and misguided situations. I cringed most of the film.
What did I learn from this film? Life is full of misery and pain and no one wins in the end. That's it. What a bummer.
This is the true story of Teena Brandon (Hillary Swank), a lonely teenage girl living as a man, "Brandon Teena." She's been in trouble with the law and has no roots. When she comes to a new town, she is befriended by a "family" of perpetually-drunk low-lifes, and is attracted to Lana (Chloe Sevigny), who dreams of going to Memphis and being a karaoke singer. Brandon and Chloe fall in love, angering two men who begin to suspect Brandon's true identity. Swank's performance … more
Pros: Outstanding performance by the assembled cast Cons: Disjointed in places Its easy to see why Hilary Swank (Last Karate Kid III, Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), won the Oscar for best actress in 1999 for her touching portrayal of Brandon Teena (Teena Brandon), the tortured, confused young woman who desperately tried to deny that she was a lesbian, and instead clung to the notion that she was a man trapped inside a womans body. … more