Boys Don’t Cry (2000)

Boys Don’t Cry. Well let me tell you, I was stifling tears.

Boys Don’t Cry gives a biographical account on Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank), a young transgender guy pushing the boundaries in the early 90s. It tells the story of the fun he has and trouble he lands himself in after adventuring to Nebraska to escape from the law in his hometown.

This movie is one of the first in its kind, depicting a female-to-male character as the main lead. It shows the real life struggle that some transgender people often have to face, especially in a time period when many people were not even accepting of gay people. You see him struggle with the dislike he has toward his body, his attempts to appear more masculine and just trying to fit in as one of the guys around him.

Hilary Swank plays the role of Brandon extremely well, she handles the part with sensitivity, and it is easy to forget that she is not actually a teenage boy. While filming Hilary Swank had to live her day to life looking like Brandon, so it is hardly surprising that her neighbor assumed it was her teenage son coming and going from the house rather than her. In the movie Swank portrays the unease and awkwardness of someone not feeling at home in their own body, while giving Brandon a cheeky charm about him.

During the movie you find yourself rooting for Brandon, and hoping he doesn’t get found out about being born female, but there is a sense of foreboding throughout. You are just waiting for it to happen and what will happen to him. At times you might think, ‘Oh no, what are you doing? Just go home. Don’t get into a relationship with a girl – you are bound to get found out.’ But you have to bear in mind he was young and human. It’s only natural that he wanted those experiences.

It isn’t the first time I have watched this movie, but it is the first time I made it to the end. The first time I attempted to watch it, I had to stop. Not because it wasn’t a good movie, I think it tells the story well and I like the way it was shot. However, if you have watched the movie you will know the scenes I’m talking about, the bathroom, and car scene that follow, were too much for me. I will add now that this is the point in which I would like to apologize to the people sitting behind me in the cinema as I was sniffling as the tears rolled down my face.

If you liked: Dallas Buyers Club, Tomboy, or are specifically looking for a LGBT themed movie then this is for you. Although, if you are prone to crying at movies – have some tissues at hand.

*I have referred to Brandon Teena throughout this review as Brandon and with male pronouns, ‘he’, as he was a real person and it is how he wanted to be known.


A ramble on falling in and out of love with film

Since watching Cloud Atlas, which I sill haven’t blogged about, I have found it hard to sit through a movie. I started by taking a break from movies, I was on a movie ban since I wasn’t getting much uni work done. Often I would watch a movie a day. To me, perhaps movies are a distraction, an escape from the world and being captivated in an alternative world. Maybe this is why I love movies, I would say film is a passion of mine.

But I temporarily fell out of love with film and with movies. Taking a break from blogging and all the movie watching, I had a chance to get out a bit more. Instead of being a film obsessed recluse I got a bit more of a social life and began working on some other projects. I caught up on some university assignments, developed my social skills – met new people, stayed out later, went traveling, took a lot of pi ctures (will upload to Stay Smirt).

I’ve had fun, but it’s time to get back in the swing of things. Coming back to regular life, especially now that the Easter holiday is over, I am starting to fall back in love with the world of film. Last night I watched The Intouchables/Untouchabe, the French film with Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy. It was brilliant, reminded me of the Bollywood movie Guzaarish, in fact it was so brilliant I may just have to blog about it.

After all film is my first love, and they say you never forget your first love…

Growing Up With Film

I would sum up my experience of film from my childhood as James Bond meets Bollywood

Looking back on my younger childhood, I have memories of films. I can remember some of the films which I watched as a young child, in particular the films I would rewatch or the films I have watched again since.

I don’t come from a family that is exceptionally fanatic about film, but, to me, movies bring people together. Perhaps this belief comes from growing up and watching films with family and friends.

However, I do come from a family of mixed culture and this has influenced the movies I watched and the movies I watch today.

One of my earliest memories is going to the cinema. My Grandma took my brothers and I to see Toy Story and I recall sitting on booster seat to see over the other cinema seats. I thought it was fantastic, and to this day, Toy Story remains in my list of favourite movies.

Whatever it is that sparked my interest in film, I am grateful for it.


Ponderings of The Smirt Kid: Is cinema a form of escapism continued.

In June 2012 I posted a blog following a discussion that I had in French class. Well I’d like to revisit this topic. 

I no longer study French, and no longer have the opportunity to study and talk about films in detail. I’m sure my friends would soon get sick of me yapping on about film scenes and ideas. But it is something I still think about regularly.

In a way, film is a form of escapism. I still maintain the thought that film transports you to another world – or at least a reality that is not your own. We may be sedative audiences, but we are not passive.

cinema audience

Yes, it is true that viewers can find similarities and parallels between the movie and their own life. Some people may find comfort in knowing that the actors in their favourite movies are going through similar life struggles, whilst others feel happier forgetting about their own life and drift into a 2 hour alternative.

Gangster Squad


Director Ruben Fleischer has successfully brought mafia movies back to the big screen with Gangster Squad. It is your traditional mafia movie, I would say classic, but ‘classic’ would be The Godfather trilogy and ‘stereotypical’  could be misinterpreted as not worth watching. Whilst there are no horse heads to be found in beds, there is an adequate amount of gun battle and shooting that you would expect to find in this genre of film.

Set in 1940s Los Angeles where former boxer, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), has most of the city in the palm of his hand; with public figures and a large proportion of the police department being bribed in his favour.

Based on a true story, this movie  follows a small group of LAPDs that form a secret unit self-titled the ‘Gangster Squad’ which set out to bring down the infamous mafia boss Cohen; intercepting drug transfers, tearing down his establishments and burning his money.

Sergeant John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) is put in charge of forming this elite group, though it is his wife who handpicked the recruits to form an A-team of specialists made up of Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), detectives Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), Navidad Ramirez (Michael Peña) and Max Kennard (Robert Patrick). The original ending was altered after the 2012 Aurora shootings, this gun filled battle now ends in an old-fashioned fist fight, taking Cohen back to his roots.

If you enjoyed Public Enemies, then you are likely to enjoy this movie.

2013: Year of the Sequel (Blog Series – Part 2)


We as people enjoy being able to follow a story and it appears that 2013 will be a year full of sequels and continuations. Below is a chronological list of  Hollywood sequels scheduled to come out this year.

  • A Good Day to Die Hard
  • The Last Exorcism Part 2
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  • Scary Movie 5
  • Iron Man 3
  • Fast and Furious 6
  • The Hangover: Part III
  • Kick Ass 2
  • Dispicable Me 2
  • Grown Ups 2
  • The Smurfs 2
  • Red 2
  • Insidious Chapter 2
  • 300: Rise of an empire
  • Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • Paranormal Activity 2
  • Thor: The Dark Worlds
  • Best Man 2
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Bad Santa 2
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

~ Have a Smirt Day