Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

(Netflix Streaming, February 2016) I’d like to give Boys Don’t Cry the fair shake it deserves. After all, this is a sensitive, haunting story about a transsexual encountering hate in rural America. It’s adapted from a true story, it doesn’t end well, it earned Hilary Swank a well-deserved Academy Award; it ended up on several year’s-best lists and it remains a minor cultural touchstone (especially given the renewed attention given to transsexual issues nowadays). In other words, it checks off nearly every significant box in the list of a good movie still worth seeing more than fifteen years later. Alas, this is not the kind of film that appeals to me. The languid pacing, small-midwestern-town setting, faux-reality style, self-important direction, showy acting and downbeat ending are really not my favourite elements of moviemaking. I acknowledge that Boys Don’t Cry is a good movie without feeling any personal affection for it: hopefully your reaction won’t be the same.

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