Boys Don't Cry movie poster
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Boys Don't Cry movie poster

Boys Don't Cry Movie Review

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At the 1999 Academy Awards, Hilary Swank stole away the Oscar from the likely and more well-known candidate Annette Bening, although it wasn't a total surprise. Everyone was praising her for her performance in Boys Don't Cry, so I had to see what all the fuss about it. I now have seen Boy's Don't Cry and must say that Hilary Swank is the only thing that worthwhile about it.

The movie follows the last few moments of Teena Brandon's life, as she poses as a boy and becomes friends with a bunch of young people in Falls City, Nebraska. There, she falls in love with a girl (Chloë Sevigny). Of course, not everything is good when the guys find out just who Brandon is. The story is based on a true story, but eighty percent of the movie is built on showing just how screwed up all these hicks are. Some of them have kids but they still spend all their time getting high, drinking beer, and shouting at each other. Maybe this is how they really were, but I'm wondering if this is just yet another example of how drugs and alcohol play another pointless character trait in current movies. Basically, there's so much of this crap that it gets tiresome just to watch.

Actually, most of the movie is boring. The plot of the story: Brandon moves into a house filled with a bunch of doped up hicks, Brandon waits as the hicks sober up, Brandon and the hicks get high again, the hicks find out that Brandon is not a guy while high, and then they do bad things to Brandon, while high. You get the point. And none of the characters, not even Brandon, got my emotions going; I didn't feel anything for any of them. Furthermore, I kept on squinting at the DVD clock to see how close to the end I was, and I was never close enough. However, I must admit the last twenty-five minutes was very thrilling, even though I knew what was going to happen.

While the movie isn't the greatest, it does have two good things going for it. The first is the direction. Kimberly Peirce has gone all out with interesting visuals and cool camera work to deliver a visually stimulating film. The second thing going for Boys Don't Cry is, obviously, the acting. Both Hilary Swank and Chloë Sevigny got Oscar nods, and Swank came out with a golden rod. Chloë Sevigny's performance is good but not stand out, but Hilary Swank's is amazing. From minute one, it is hard to imagine her as a female. She looks basically like a skinny guy, sounds like a guy, and acts like a guy. This is an amazing performance for The Next Karate Kid, and should jump start her career. If she keeps this up, she'll end up with many more Oscars.

Hilary Swank is a one-woman show in Boys Don't Cry, but is swamped by an overly stale movie.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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