Modern audiences may be familiar with The Birdcage, the 1996 Us remake starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. That film’s success should not have been a surprise because two decades earlier Edouard Molinaro made this French-language breakout hit.
The mainstream press ignored it. The gay media saw it as offensive stereotyping. The public loved it. Is La Cage Aux Folles an Lgbtq cinematic landmark or an exercise in camp mockery? Perhaps it’s a bit of both. One moment you’re congratulating the film for its sophisticated and normalising depictions of gay existence, and the next you’re thrown another crass and tasteless bum joke.
The setting is St Tropez, and we open with a cut-price Scorsese tracking shot, taking us into the titular cabaret club.