Gee, where should I begin? It's a character study -- but on what subject? About a man who came to gay awareness far too late to benefit from the gay lib movement? About an artist whose greatest achievements depended on extinguishing all connections between the personal and the political? All of the above and so much more!
Personally, I'd give the Oscar to Brendan Fraser, who has a much more challenging role as the understated, naturalistic yard man, though Ian McKellan gives such a commanding performance that he's bound to play a prominent role at every award ceremony. If he's dissed because the love interest is gay, it's only the proof gay activists have long sought -- namely, that peronal respect is sexually conditioned.
All in all a wonderful film for anyone who loves great acting and a director willing to push the envelope. It's a terrific look at the ways life has shaped all of our beliefs.
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