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 as Brandon/Teena is simply remarkable. She conveys the heartbreak and misery of an outsider, a misfit, and the need for love that is universal; she won the Oscar in 1999 for this role. Sevigny is convincing as the girl who falls in love with both Brandon and Teena. Despite its low-budget (Swank earned only $3,000), this is an extremely well-made, thought-provoking, and deeply moving for adults. (There are sexual and extremely violent scenes.) A riveting, shocking, and very sad story with sensitive acting and direction.
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
Pros: Fascinating True Story Cons: Very very depressing, no good ending 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 … more