Boys Don't Cry
Boys Don't Cry
R | 02 September 1999 (USA)
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A young transgender man explores his gender identity and searches for love in rural Nebraska.


Good story, Not enough for a whole film

Rio Hayward

All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.

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Nayan Gough

A great movie, one of the best of this year. There was a bit of confusion at one point in the plot, but nothing serious.

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One of the worst ways to make a cult movie is to set out to make a cult movie.

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The Plot. Female-born Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska.First of all, I'm betting half the good reviews here are phony. So many iuse the same words like "powerful" and "disturbing."The movie is nothing more than an early left wind propaganda piece like The Crying Game and so many pothers. You're supposed to think it's so great because you are expected to embrace the left wing propaganda and march in step.It's rather insulting and not worth your time.

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Teena Brandon (Hilary Swank) is a young woman who refuses to accept that she's a woman and uses the male alias of Brandon Teena. Teena dresses like a man, has her hair cut short and uses various 'accessories' to make her look like a man. Teena finds love when she meets Lana Tisdel (Chloe Sevigny) who is unaware that Teena is really a woman. Things come to a head and take a dangerous turn when Lana's friends and family discover Teena's secret...I've heard stories about woman and men whom have a sexually identity crisis; a man feeling as though they are trapped inside a woman's body and vice versa, but it's not really a subject that I know a great deal about it (and I suspect that it's something that most people will neither understand nor be able to relate to). This is clearly what Teena suffered from and being seen as a guy and hanging out with the guys made her happy and in her own mind she saw this as living a normal existence.Perhaps that's part of the reason that I found it interesting; the fact that I know so little about it and the film does give some insight into how this type of disorder affects the individual. This part of the story resonated with me because I did think to myself that it must be genuinely awful for those people that live their lives feeling as though they are trapped in the wrong body; of course there is gender reassignment as an option, but that's quite a big step to take and presumably it doesn't come cheap either so for most individuals the only viable option will be to pretend like Teena Brandon.Like a lot of biopics, Boys Don't Cry does play loose with some of the facts; for example in the film it shows that Lana and Teena's relationship continued after Lana discovers Teena's secret, but in actuality this didn't happen - allegedly the real Tisdel sued the filmmakers for misrepresentation. This revelation confirmed some of my suspicions about the film being a bit phony as I felt that Lana's reaction to Teena's discovery didn't reflect the way that a normal person would react to quite a major shocking discovery. In some ways I can understand why the filmmakers chose to show Lana and Teena in a relationship throughout the film; it keeps the audience more involved in the story and also makes the powerful and brutal ending more emotional - at least it did for me as I found myself emotionally involved in the story.One other thing I found puzzling is that Lana never challenged Teena about her being a compulsive liar - yes some of it was necessary in order for her to keep her secret, but some of her lies were delusional grandeur and it made me wonder why someone would trust and want to be with someone whom they know to be a compulsive liar? Having said all that, I can't deny that this was a pretty involving film about a subject that many people won't understand or be able to relate to.However, despite the fact that it plays loose with some of the facts it does enough to open our eyes on what it's like for an individual suffering from a gender identity crisis. It won't be for everyone, but I thought that it was a pretty good film.

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I can't tell you how distraught I am when I saw the rape scenes of a poor innocent person assaulted by two disgusting beasts that need to be tied to an electric chair. I can't believe both of them are still alive today. This is so much like the Matthew Shepherd Story with hate crime. It's unfortunately happening everywhere, not just America!Hilary Swank made a great resemble of the real Teena Brandon. She honestly prepared the role that I'm so glad she got an Oscar for her character. I bet the real Teena Brandon would be so proud of her and the fact her story will be recognized to the world in combating Transgender hate crimes. I'm glad they put this movie out to give us people the message of being aware what really is happening to our big bad world.....

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Boys Don't Cry is a brutal, hard hitting drama about the tragic story of Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank), a young woman with gender identity disorder and aims to live her life as a man. With a history of juvenile delinquency and social rejection from a homophobic, ill-informed community Brandon finds acceptance in Fall City, Nebraska, finding friends with a group and even love with Lana Tisdel (Chloe Sevigny). But when Brandon's secret is discovery it leads to rejection, violence, rape and murder.Boys Don't Cry is an extremely well acted, well directed film, particularly from Swank and Sevigny who had very tough roles. Director Kimberly Peirce gives Boys Don't Cry a very tight, claustrophobic feel with her close direction in small settings and she does not shy away with the brutality when showing the violence and the horrific rape scene.Boys Don't Cry is a very raw, powerful film and a fine example of American independent filmmaking as we get a film about acceptance, love and prejudice.

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