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Soldier's Girl
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Reviews & Ratings for
Soldier's Girl (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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72 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful love story.

Author: DameFlux from CA
3 August 2004

This is a film that will challenge your definition of gender and redefine the meaning of love. The true life story of Calpernia Addams and her successful yet tragic relationship with the soldier who fell in love with her, Barry Winchell. First , this is one of the best films I have ever seen. Originally made for HBO it could easily have made the big screen. Frank Pierson directs with a gentle hand and delivers poetry to vehicle that could have been awkward in anothers hands. Ron Nyswaner's script is sharp and deep so Pierson is well backed.

The cast is killer . Troy Garity delivers a surprisingly subtle portrayal of the soldier Barry Winchell. Barry is not an intellectual but far more emotionally intelligent than those around him. He falls in love with an exotic transsexual dancer Calpernia Addams for all the reasons a man usually does for any woman. She is smart , beautiful and underneath the dancers facade a true woman who yearns for someone to care for.

Lee Pace who plays Calpernia faced a huge challenge in that he really is a man but he is so powerful an actor that it takes only moments to convince you the heart of this character is truly a woman's. A classically trained actor Pace finds a way to give Calpernia both the accurate movement of a woman yet the fragile heart of a romantic in danger . I hope that Paces future is not stunted by this role because after delivering this kind of performance it will be really hard to top it. Pace manifests Calpernia so well it defies his physical reality . That feat is beyond most Hollywood actors period.

Added to the mix is the macho soldier named Justin Fisher who befriends Barry only to become the cause of his demise. . A hardcore soldier who drugs himself to keep up with the demands of being the best of the best Fisher is himself both a homophobe , jealous competitor for Barry's attention and dangerously loose cannon . Played by Shawn Hatosy the performance is pretty stunning. I swear I have known guys like this in my life. Shawn delivers Fisher with incredible rawness and realism. A macho redneck with disturbing secrets. You will hate Fisher and yet pity how pathetic he is as a human being he is . Brilliant work. Very rare. Hatosy gives a perfect delivery.

Last is the new arrival Calvin Glover , a wet behind the ears soldier that Fisher easily dupes into carrying out his vengeance against Barry. Played by Philip Eddolls the team of Fisher and Glover fits perfectly . Fisher the power to dominate and Glover his easily manipulated puppet. Too stupid to even grasp the seriousness of his crime Glover is someone you will recognize . Eddolls doesn't hold back anything in trying to give us Glovers small man complex.

If you are homophobic at all you will probably not like this movie but if you believe that love transcends the physical genders we are given you will be moved. Despite finding this DVD in the "gay " section of Amazon.com this is truly love story between a man and a woman. Well worth watching. A+

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54 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

FINALLY, A NEW INSIGHT INTO REALITY

10/10
Author: mratchford1 from Las Vegas, Nevada
25 September 2004

I am not going to add to the insightful reviews made so far in the paradigm of today's society. Instead I would like to note the following:

I understood perhaps for the first time in my life a radically new point of view.

In the past my smug assumption was that a transsexual was 'simply' a man who loved being accepted as a woman. "Duh," some of you might say, what else COULD it be?

Well, what I saw in this gem of a movie, this magic lantern of the soul as it were, was something more. I saw that NATURE herself was the actor.

In a nutshell (possible bad word for me to use here!) what I now see is; SOME genders REALLY ARE opposite genders inside. In this movie I was struck blind like the Bible's Paul with the vision that a woman's soul COULD inhabit a mans body, and so would 'simply' live out life with as much dignity as SOCIETY would allow.

If this is even marginally true, we are ALL indicted barbarians and cavedwellers for not seeing the obvious... and the lid on 'The Pandora's Box of What's Normal' has finally been lovingly lifted off its hinges and thrown into the abyss!

Thank you writers, directors and especially actors --- for portraying that at all; and so well!

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46 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Excellent, powerful film

10/10
Author: rgad from Chicago, IL, USA
9 February 2004

I loved the film and I'm still remembering various scenes from it. As a victim of a gay hate bashing many years ago when I was 22 which almost killed me, it affected me deeply.

The military code of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is stupid. As was the segretation of blacks and whites in the military until around 1943. As was the forbidding of interracial marriages in this country in a number of states until 1967. As was the internment of Asian American citizens during World War II. As is the antipathy against civil marriage for same-sex couples now. Where is "love" in all this? Why is it not even being mentioned? Love for one's country and for each other. Barry and Calpernia loved each other. What's wrong with that? When two people love each other and decide to share their lives together, that's a commitment between two people. Not a commitment with the government or any religion. They can only acknowledge the commitment in the way each does. Love doesn't recognize restrictions; it's universal.

Bigotry kills. This movie demonstrates that. Also, back to reality, I've read the commander (or whatever they're called) of Fort Campbell who never said a word about the anti-gay attitude of Fort Campbell at this time was recently promoted. Now what does that say about our government and the military?

I gave the movie a 10. I only wish I could give more people the same score.

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38 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

AN IMPORTANT LESSON ON LIFE AND LOVE!

9/10
Author: richard cavellero from NJ, U.S.A.
28 January 2004

Don't watch this film unless you wanna cry. Sexy Troy Garity of Barbershop gives a powerful, stellar performance as a young soldier in the airborne infantry whom falls in love with a beautiful transsexual. The film treats their love affair as simple and normal as they face the complex emotions that the world throws at them. It's truly beautiful and a sight to behold. Because the film is based on a true story it makes it all the more painful to watch. The performances are inspiring, the screenplay is thoughtful and poignant. The only flaw the film retains is a quick ending. There is such a investement in these charachters I wish they would've took more time to show the effects of hate. It's films like these that change things. People's minds, people's hearts, people's views. It's such ashame that it was confined to television this film should be widely celebrated for it's diversity, courage and beauty. Much like it's main charachters it will never be forgotten.

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28 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Movie worth seeing

10/10
Author: inluvwithjolie67 from United States
20 December 2004

I remember a couple of months ago hearing the story of Barry Winchell on A&E. I was so hurt and disgusted by the fact that something like this could happen and the person that did this awful thing was not put to death. So later when I heard about Soldier's Girl, I decided to rent it and check it out. I put it in and was entranced by this amazing love story. I was moved to tears, which is a difficult thing for me to do. The story was so loving and yet so tragic. Like Calpernia says in the beginning of the movie, "I'm going to tell you a story, like all great stories, it is a love story. And like all great love stories, it's tragic." The movie broke my heart and I was ashamed to know that my country let this happen and go unpunished in my opinion. Facing the homophobia of society is tough for any person, I know this first hand. Barry Winchell was a resilient person to be able to take what he took from others, and not let them stop him from falling in love. Best movie I've seen based on a true story in awhile. I would recommend seeing it to anyone.

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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

AN IMPORTANT LESSON ON LIFE AND LOVE!

9/10
Author: richard cavellero from NJ, U.S.A.
28 January 2004

Don't watch this film unless you wanna cry. Sexy Troy Garity of Barbershop gives a powerful, stellar performance as a young soldier in the airborne infantry whom falls in love with a beautiful transsexual. The film treats their love affair as simple and normal as they face the complex emotions that the world throws at them. It's truly beautiful and a sight to behold. Because the film is based on a true story it makes it all the more painful to watch. The performances are inspiring, the screenplay is thoughtful and poignant. The only flaw the film retains is a quick ending. There is such a investement in these charachters I wish they would've took more time to show the effects of hate. It's films like these that change things. People's minds, people's hearts, people's views. It's such ashame that it was confined to television this film should be widely celebrated for it's diversity, courage and beauty. Much like it's main charachters it will never be forgotten.

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A Great & Terrible Film.

Author: Jessy Castiglione (socoluva25@yahoo.com)
14 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The facts surrounding this story are for the most part accurate. Although Calvin Glover was 19 not 17 and Calpernia Addams did not live in a mobile home it still stuck pretty close to the actual events. This movie was more than just another story about a soldier who was beat to death. It was a tribute and a reminder of how barbaric some humans can be. The whole film screams "Reality Check"! I have seen this movie quite a few times and every time I still find myself getting emotional. Garity and Lee deliver an all out performance. Truly brazen and stunning. There is no happy ending just tears and tissues. There is no justification for what happened to Barry Winchell and nothing can ever bring him back. But his memory will always survive in the minds of whoever watches this film.

The outcome: Calvin Glover sits in a cell wasting our money as he was given life in prison.

Unfortunately Justin Fisher "The instigator" is up for parole soon and may be allowed to rejoin society after only 4.5 years in prison.

In the end many lives were devastated and a good man and soldier was lost. There is no justifying that.

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21 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Excellent, powerful film

10/10
Author: rgad from Chicago, IL, USA
9 February 2004

I loved the film and I'm still remembering various scenes from it. As a victim of a gay hate bashing many years ago when I was 22 which almost killed me, it affected me deeply.

The military code of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is stupid. As was the segregation of blacks and whites in the military until around 1943. As was the forbidding of interracial marriages in this country in a number of states until 1967. As was the internment of Asian American citizens during World War II. As is the antipathy against civil marriage for same-sex couples now. Where is "love" in all this? Why is it not even being mentioned? Love for one's country and for each other. Barry and Calpernia loved each other. What's wrong with that? When two people love each other and decide to share their lives together, that's a commitment between two people. Not a commitment with the government or any religion. They can only acknowledge the commitment in the way each does. Love doesn't recognize restrictions; it's universal.

Bigotry kills. This movie demonstrates that. Also, back to reality, I've read the commander (or whatever they're called) of Fort Campbell who never said a word about the anti-gay attitude of Fort Campbell at this time was recently promoted. Now what does that say about our government and the military?

I gave the movie a 10. I only wish I could give more people the same score.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Very powerful moving film that made me sad and glad at the same time

Author: badgrrlkane from Irving, TX
21 March 2004

First off congrats to the wonderful Troy Garity and to Lee pace ( Especially Lee Pace) for really doing a film where both of these actors will be noticed for more film roles in the future and I was very glad to see at this years Emmy Awards that they weren't forgotten at least as nominees though Lee Pace definatley deserved an award for playing a throughly convincing transsexual. Also kudos to Shawn Hatosy for playing a very sexually repressed moron who if he'd have just accepted his own blossoming homosexual feelings the real Mr Winchell would still be here today. I apperciate this movie on so many levels from it showing how this nations military policy of " Don't ask Don't tell" is absolute BS, to how society at large and including our own president feels about the love bewteen 2 people of the same sex. And it shows just how judgemental society is tworads especially the transgendered society in todays world. The ending as shocking as it it is is just as brutal as the story of the late Teena Brandon as her story was depicted in the equally great film Boy's Don't Cry. If you have Showtime watch this film when they replay it or go to your local video store and rent the VHS or DVD of this phenominal film. Redencks and Homophobes steer clean of thsi movie. I wouldn't want you to get your jollies off watching a kind and sincere person die for loving someone who was just as kind but confused about their sexuality. ***** out of *****

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16 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Good, dare I say important, film with no Army adviser in sight

Author: will-255 from San Jose, CA
6 April 2004

Overall well worth watching. It does have the standard host of Army reality errors -- calling NCOs sir, wearing hats indoors when not bearing weapons, calling a Sergeant Major "sarge," etc. Curiously, having extremely defective people (like the nut with the bat) in the Army, especially combat arms, is NOT an error. When I was a tanker in the late 80s, I saw America's finest, most giving, young men. I also saw a lot of mutants that wouldn't make it on the outside. At that time 90%+ of both types were rabidly homophobic. I doubt much has changed. Because of that, I find it a bit difficult to buy that the main character wouldn't hide his affair much better than the movie depicted. Then again, things did go terribly wrong. Even though I'm a strong supporter of the military, when "don't ask, don't tell" was created, I thought that a gay person must be insane to want to go into the service. Clearly, little has changed.

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