Stars: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt and Isaac Leyva
Runtime: 97 min
It’s 1979 and Alan Cumming’s character is making his meager living as a drag performer. He quickly meets a shy closeted hunk (Garret Dillahunt) and they end up fighting for custody of an abandoned teen with Down syndrome. This is an affecting and sweet drama that’s elevated by Cumming’s feisty performance (and wonderful singing), Dillahunt’s lovable charm and Isaac Leyva’s sweet smile. The period wardrobe is rich with wide collars and garish patterns, but it’s the attitudes that provide the most jarring flashback (although they remain with us). While the subject is fodder for outrage and the story is basic, the acting and direction combine to create an appealing experience.
GAY ANGLE: Drag queens, blow jobs and 70s fashion. What more do you need?
Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal (screenplay)
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt
Runtime: 157 min
The CIA’s search for Osama bin Laden is detailed, particularly thru the efforts of one fervent woman (Jessica Chastain). The trail starts with the torture of detainees that garners tiny bits of information, then follows a lead that results in the crucial raid. Keep in mind, this takes 157 minutes, a lot of which is spent in closeups of Chastain’s frustrated face. Much of the early discussion is complicated and confusing. Even after they get a break, the time is spent in debate and delay. The final assault is played out with dramatic detail, without music or flashy staging. Director Kathryn Bigelow has crafted scenes of interest and occasional power, but the movie is simply too long. Much of the early setup could have been sacrificed to tell a more compelling story. It’s never boring, but it sure is long.
GAY ANGLE: Nothing (except a few hunky soldiers): this is the CIA in an Islamic world.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.