Boys Don't Cry | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 119 minutes · 1999

Docudrama
The true story of Teena Marie Brandon, a young woman from Lincoln, Nebraska, who inverted her name—to Brandon Teena—and her sexual identity. Dressing as a boy, she moves to a conservative small town and falls in with a group of local losers; among them is the sweet, lonely Lana (Chloe Sevigny, excellent as always) with whom Brandon has a tender sexual affair. Crisply directed by first-time feature filmmaker Kimberly Peirce, Boys Don't Cry also reflects the politically savvy, stylistically adventurous personality of its producer, Christine Vachon (Poison, Happiness). As Brandon, Hilary Swank (of Beverly Hills 90210) is an effectively ambiguous presence, with some of the scrubbed naivete of a Disney protagonist. Ultimately, social defiance leads to tragedy, in a violent conclusion that makes martyrs of much of the cast.
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Writer: Kimberly Peirce and Andy Bienen
Producer: Jill Footlick, John Hart, Caroline Kaplan, Pamela Koffler, Eva Kolodner, Jon Marcus, Jonathan Sehring, Jeff Sharp, Bradford Simpson, John Sloss, Morton Swinsky and Christine Vachon
Cast: Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III, Alison Folland, Alicia Goranson, Matt McGrath, Rob Campbell and Jeanetta Arnette

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