In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
Based on actual events. Brandon Teena is the popular new guy in a tiny Nebraska town. He hangs out with the guys, drinking, cussing, and bumper surfing, and he charms the young women, who've never met a more sensitive and considerate young man. Life is good for Brandon, now that he's one of the guys and dating hometown beauty Lana; however, he's forgotten to mention one important detail. It's not that he's wanted in another town for GTA and other assorted crimes, but that Brandon Teena was actually born a woman named Teena Brandon. When his best friends make this discovery, Brandon's life is ripped apart. Written by
This is a very powerful, and in many ways very disturbing, film that ultimately lingers with me not for its sensational subject matter but for its tragic and rewarding love story. Here we have two troubled strangers, both horribly at odds with their surroundings, finding each other, falling in love despite the many factors against them, and finally becoming the victims of the perception of their love. Like many others, I was tremendously impressed by the performance of Hilary Swank but I think the glue that holds the film together and gives it amazing hope and humanity is Chloe Sevigny. She takes a role that could have easily fallen apart in a lesser actress's hands and gives it complexity and depth that goes well beyond the script. To watch her is a breathtaking journey. Watch the way she uses her face in this movie this is an actress of remarkable expressiveness and skill! Overall, it is a very fine film that merits any serious moviegoer's rapt attention.
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