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Boys Don't Cry

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Boys Don't Cry

Starring: Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Rated: R
RunTime: 114 Minutes
Release Date: October 1999
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III, Alicia Goranson, Alison Folland, Matt McGrath

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1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewvideo review
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Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

First-time writer/director Kimberly Peirce was so appalled when she read a newspaper account of how and why 21 year-old Teena Brandon was shot dead with two friends in a farmhouse just outside Falls City, Nebraska, back in 1994, that she was determined to bring this true story to the screen. Teena Brandon - a.k.a. Brandon Teena - so desperately desired to be a boy that she posed as one. She "strapped and packed" by flattening her breasts beneath surgical bandages and inserting socks into the crotch of her jeans. Not only did she get away with the pathetic masquerade but, amazingly, she seduced several young women who, when they questioned her sexual identity, were told that she was a hermaphrodite. Brandon adamantly insisted that she was not a lesbian, explaining that she was really a boy trapped in a girl's body and often spoke of plans to have a sex change operation. Actress Hilary Swank (TV's " Beverly Hills 90210") delivers an incredibly believable performance as the troubled "pretty-boy" Brandon with Chloe Sevigny as the gullible girl who adores her. The problem is that all of the characters are essentially repugnant for one reason or another, so it's difficult to relate to any of them. (Giving a toddler beer to drink is hardly an endearing quality.) Plus, there's a gratuitously violently brutal rape scene in which two local boys (Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III) take their revenge on the deceitful "dyke" - and that, in particular, is distasteful and difficult to watch. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Boys Don't Cry" is a pathetic, sad 4. It's a tragic, depressing tale of prejudice and hatred.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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