“Tinker”ing with a classic. One strategy: A cheat sheet for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

My full reviews of several movies — including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which has some sneak previews tonight and opens formally Wednesday — will be in the week’s print and online editions starting late tomorrow, but I wanted to give a head’s-up about one of the new releases: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. This is a throw-back to the Cold War thrillers of the 1970s, both in tone, topic and look, but what’s really interesting (aside from a subtle gay subplot you should be on the lookout for) was something not on the screen, but in your hand.

At the press screening last night, attendees were presented a “dossier” (above), a slickly-produced fold-out intended “for your eyes only,” but really an almost-necessary cheat sheet to the plot of the damn thing! As any fans of John Le Carre know, Tinker, Tailor was originally produced as a seven-part miniseries in the late 1970s, which gave the labyrinthine plot room to breathe. The filmmakers do a good job concentrating on the major points and telling a complex but cogent story, but the existence of the dossier made me feel they didn’t really trust audiences to give themselves over and figure it out for themselves.

Or maybe they just didn’t trust critics. I’m not sure if the “dossier” will be available at all screening when it opens at the Angelika Friday, but let me know! It certainly is a fun little novelty if nothing else.

And until then, don’t miss Dragon Tattoo!!!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Movie Monday: ‘Warrior’ in wide release

Here’s the beef

There are worse ways to spend two hours in a movie theater than watching hulking, half-naked man-meat wail on each other — in fact, it’s hard to imagine a better way. That’s at least part of the appeal of Warrior.

Set in the world of mixed martial arts, it’s a fiction film (it’s from Gavin O’Connor, the director of Miracle, about the real-life 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team) about two estranged brothers who face off for the ultimate glory: One (Joel Edgerton), a family man in financial straights, the other (Tom Hardy), a troubled Gulf War veteran with something to prove. If that sounds cliched, just try watching it.

No really, do — because, as predictable and manipulative as Warrior is, it’s also damned entertaining, in the way only the hokiest of sports movies can be. I grew up in a sports household, so have long held a soft spot for movies like Million Dollar Baby, Rocky III and The Fighter, all of which this resembles more than passingly.

Read the entire review here.

DEETS: Starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton. 139 minutes. PG-13. Three stars.

—  Rich Lopez

‘Hairspray’ at Casa Manana tonight

What ozone layer?

Whether you’ve seen it onstage or at the movies (or both!), Hairspray is whole lot of delightful fun. Mixing social messages with drag characters is one thing, but to brighten it up with fun-loving tunes that feel like they popped right out of old-time radio is what makes the story work so well. Come on. How many times have we wished we could wake up singing “Good Morning, Baltimore” and feel that good about the day? Anybody? Just us?

Check out our piece on actor David Coffee who plays Edna Turnblad.

—  Rich Lopez

Perfect match

Bob Nunn and Tom Harrover have been a couple for 4 decades. But it wasn’t until a near tragedy that they realized they were truly meant for each other

LIFE GOES ON | Nunn, right, and Harrover stand before a project commissioned for the convention center hotel. Four years ago, Nunn was near death because of kidney disease. (Rich Lopez/Dallas Voice)

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

Bob Nunn agrees with the adage that the longer a couple lives together, the more they begin to look alike. Nunn and his partner Tom Harrover might not look that similar on the outside, but they match in a way that few couples do.

Let’s start with some history.

The two have that classic meet-cute that began on the wrong note. As Nunn tells it, Harrover was the dullest person he’d ever met —the two just didn’t like each other. Then, following a spontaneous invitation to a midnight movie, they ended up hitting it off. That movie led to conversation and then dating.

Forty-two years later, they still watch movies — as Nunn puts it, “I couldn’t get rid of him.”

A job in Houston took Nunn away from Harrover for three months, but old-fashioned letter writing kept the newbie relationship afloat.

“Tom had been writing me letters. He’s a very good writer,” Bob boasts. “He basically proposed to me by letter.”

They committed to each other, moving in and pursuing their careers: Harrover in architecture and Nunn teaching art. For 37 years, they lived in “a fabulous house” in Hollywood Heights. Life was good.

Then their life took a sharp turn.

“When we got together, Tom knew I had a kidney disease,” Nunn says. “Nothing was really a problem until about 30 years after we met — my kidneys began to fail and I had to start dialysis.”

Nunn registered with Baylor for the national organ donor list, but the experience was frustrating:  They received little response or encouragement from the hospital.

“Bob was on a downhill slide and the frustration with Baylor seemed like they were stonewalling us,” Harrover says. “We talked about going to Asia even. It felt like they didn’t want to deal with a senior-age gay couple.”

A LITTLE DAB’LL DO YOU | Bob Nunn is officially retired from teaching art, but continues to paint.

Then Harrover suggested something novel: He could donate his kidney to the organ list, with the idea that Nunn could get a healthy one.  Sort of a kidney exchange.

In desperation, they went back to their physician, who enrolled them in St. Paul Hospital’s then-new program for kidney transplant. The experience was a complete turnaround. Nunn was tested and processed immediately while Harrover prepped for his organ donation to an anonymous recipient.

Kidney transplants require a seven-point match system; a minimum of three matches is necessary for the recipient to be able to accept the organ into the body.

The tests revealed that Harrover’s kidney matched Nunn’s on all seven points.

“We assumed I would donate mine for use elsewhere,” Harrover says. “It never occurred to me that we’d be a match. The odds for that are off the charts.”

“See what happens when you live together for so long?” he chuckles.

Just six months after entering St. Paul’s program in 2007, they were on the operating table. They were the first direct living donor pair in the program. “It was all fairly miraculous,” Nunn understates.

Four years later, both men are doing well. Although officially retired, they both continue to work: Harrover does the occasional contract job while Nunn is currently on commission for an art project at the new convention center hotel. Outside of any official work, each interjects their quips about home, life be it cooking together or working on the lawn.

The obvious question for them might be “What’s the secret?” But they don’t see it just that way. Their relationship boils down to the obvious virtues of trust, respect and compromise.

“Selfishness doesn’t rear its ugly head in this relationship,” Harrover says. “You just have to be willing to accommodate, support and encourage what the other is interested in.”

Nunn agrees. “I would not be doing what I’m doing without his support.”

Nunn says if there is a secret, it’s akin to the dynamic on a playground: Like each other and share. If you don’t share your whole life, there isn’t a relationship, he says. At this point, Harrover says it would be impossible to separate. On paper, they are so intertwined with their house and financials, he jokes they are “Siamese twins.”

They’ve witnessed a lot in their decades together, including something they never expected to come to pass in their lifetimes: Same-sex marriage. Coming from a time when just being gay conflicted with moral codes set by their jobs, they wonder over the progress made in recent years. (They were officially married in Boston in October 2009.)

“I’m confident that it will happen for everyone,” Harrover says. “I’m sorry that it’s moving at a glacial pace, but it has that same inevitability as a glacier. We’ll get there.”

But nothing compares to the bond Harrover and Nunn already have, a shared intimacy few couples could imagine. Same-sex marriage was merely unlikely; what they have experienced is miraculous.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Movies: Alex Pettyfer Doubled. Plus, Gael & Luis

 Alex Pettyfer taking his shirt off for Ellen two weeks ago. "It's customary"

…would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

Hollywood isn't as obvious a star-making factory as it was in the studio days when actors got long term contracts and were carefully molded To Be Loved By You. Now it's every struggling actor (and high powered agent) for themselves. Still, every once in a while you do feel that someone is being thrust at you eagerly by Tinseltown like, they're smiling in a grocery store under fluorescent lighting "free sample! free sample!" 

That seems to be what's going on with Alex Pettyfer, the British 20 year old model/actor who was taking his shirt off for Ellen Degeneres two weeks ago, presumably as a way of losing his American talk show virginity with enthusiasm. He's now on 3,000+ screens as the alien "number four" in I AM NUMBER FOUR. In the movie he seems to have acquired every actor's dream superpower, the ability to generate one's own key light.



He's broodily romancing Dianna Agron (Pettyfer's real life girlfriend). Since it's Dianna Agron from Glee and they're being all angsty in high school, you half expect someone to throw a slurpee.

Two weeks from now Pettyfer will be back on thousands of screens (maybe the same ones!) as the star of BEASTLY, a modern retelling of Beauty & The Beast. Surprisingly, he's not playing Beauty. Instead he is cursed with ugliness, which will require all of his thespian imagination to relate to. Said ugliness involves only bald headedness and some Edward Scissorhands style scarring plus tattoos, so it's not so much ugliness as imperfection, since there's still that bone structure and the bod'.


Weirdly his Beast look almost makes him a dead ringer (at a distance) for his foes in I AM NUMBER FOUR who are also baldheaded with scarring and tattoos.

 If this sounds like grasping at straws subject matter well you didn't really want to talk about BIG MAMMAS: LIKE FATHER LIKE SON, did you? Some weeks are… challenging at the multiplex.

In limited release the Mexican horror film WE ARE WHAT WE ARE arrives (and will be on IFC On Demand next week) featuring a fatherless family who uh…dine together. There's a gay subplot involving the eldest son and some heavy handed metaphors but it's completely scary and sickening which is probably the point of horror films, right? (I plead ignorance of the genre.)

If you live on the coasts, you can see the return of the awesome Gael García Bernal in EVEN THE RAIN (pictured left). The film was Spain's Oscar submission though it did not end up securing a nomination for the big night coming up (February 27th!). The film co-stars baldheaded Luis Tosar (who just lost the Spanish Oscar "The Goya" to Javier Bardem) who does not appear to have scarring or tattoos but who is, like Bernal, totally sexy. Just because Hollywood keeps saying bald = ugly/scary, that doesn't make it so.

Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

Movies: Channing Tatum in The Eagle

 Channing Tatum does his best Russel Crowe in "The Eagle"

…would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

THE EAGLE is the latest of the many sword & sandal ripples that Gladiator set in motion 11 years ago. Channing Tatum is this year's brave soul, stepping into the Arena of Undefeated Russell Crowe Memories. Channing plays Marcus Aquila, a young centurion getting his first command in Britain. His faither soiled the family name by vanishing in the North of Britain and losing his legion's gold standard, The Eagle. Though Rome at large has moved on, Marcus is obsessed with retreiving the shiny bird.

Marcus is very serious about his command but he's also good at it. In fact, he's practically clairvoyant in his first test as a leader, sensing danger coming well before it arrives. Though he saves his men, a serious injury sidelines him from battle, and the film threatens to stop dead in its tracks just as its begun. Thankfully the movie picks up considerably when Jamie Bell enters as Esca.

Esca is purchased as a body slave for Marcus. Waste of money, that. Purchasing a body slave for Channning Tatum? Surely there were volunteers at the ready?


Lower your hands. Jamie already got the job. 


One has to wonder when Hollywood will stop casting Jamie Bell as the sidekick. It's not a matter of scene-stealing so much as a screen presence that's too big to hide. He only needs another Billy Elliot (2000) sized role to convince Hollywood of what is plainly obvious to moviegoers with working eyeballs: he's a star. In that dumb would-be franchise Jumper, Hayden Christensen stopped existing entirely once Bell was in frame. Channing Tatum fares quite a lot better but then, he's not a bad actor, just one with a small range.

Eagletaharharim I'd love to report that Tatum and Bell's epic game of Master & Servant, with the tables turned dramatically on more than one story occassion, was hilariously homo-erotic but though they have solid chemistry, the movie is more interested in their honor codes than their bodies despite the sometimes fleshy genre they're starring in.

On the bright side, the film's flaws are interesting. The casting is strange. One wonders what they were going for. Tatum and Bell both seem to be in the same movie but other key figures are not. Ubiquitous out gay character actor Denis O'Hare (True Blood) doesn't even bother with the time period (140 A.D if you're wondering). He's so 2011 you half expect him to whip out a laptop to school Channing on the fort's budgetary restrictions. Tahar Rahim, the sensational French star of A Prophet, is compelling as Marcus's nemesis, the Painted Warrior, but he's in a more otherworldly movie. Though the narrative is mainstream to the core with traditional masculine anxiety issues as dramatic bullet points (honor, daddy, the family name, cowardice vs bravery), The Eagle also fancies itself to be a lyrical Terrence Malick-like epic with hypnotic shots of nature forcing their way in repeatedly. Incidentally, that's the same weird movie that Tahar Rahim is starring in. When Channing and Jamie drop by to pay him a visit, the film hits its peak.

ALSO OPENING: Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston play fake husband and wife in JUST GO WITH IT; Justin Bieber gets his own 3D movie NEVER SAY NEVER GOING TO SEE THIS; If you're into fashion/culture time capsules the documentary VIDAL SASSON THE MOVIE has a few super moments but otherwise it's a hagiography; POETRY is an amazing South Korean film about an old woman rocked by a young girl's murder; Ed Helms stars in the comedy CEDAR RAPIDS with Sigourney Weaver and Anne Heche; and Shakespeare rolls over in grave for the animated film GNOMEO & JULIET.

Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

Tired Old Queen At The Movies #65

1940’s Rebecca, starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Tired Old Queen At The Movies #64

1936’s San Francisco starring Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald and Spencer Tracy.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Movies: Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole, Pixar Goes Postal and Andrew Tears Up

  "You Always Hurt the Ones You Love" -Gosling serenades/warns Williams



…lives for the the tail end of each year. That's when Oscar buzz wags the film dog. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.


You have your pick of Oscar hopefuls this holiday weekend. Black Swan (previously discussed), True Grit and The King's Speech have all recently gone wide. If you're on one of the coasts, you must check out Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in BLUE VALENTINE now in limited release. The drama has a fully earned reputation for being brutally depressing but there's so much electricity in their duet that it's not remotely a tough sit. The film juxtaposes Ryan and Michelle's initial courtship with their breakup, allowing you an insightful look at all the seeds that will grow into marital weeds. It's vaguely reminiscent of the great stage musical The Last Five Years albeit without all the singing. That said, former boyband hopeful Ryan Gosling does do a mean rendition of "You Always Hurt the Ones You Love" with a ukelele in hand.

Picture 36 A less depressing option is – surprise! – the grief drama RABBIT HOLE. It's based on the award-winning Broadway play with Nicole Kidman taking over Cynthia Nixon's role for the screen. Though it's a story of a couple who recently lost their only child, it's much more about healing than wallowing in grief. Out director John Cameron Mitchell, having already proven himself a thrilling filmmaker (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus), does an artistic about face and let's the actors shine while he works invisibly this time. Kidman gives her best performance since Birth, which, come to think of it, was also suffused with the mysteries of grief. She has a real gift for it, never playing just one note.

Both films will be expanding further in January. How widely they do so will probably depend on Oscar nominations.


 road If Andrew Garfield gets Oscar nominated for his sympathetic turn as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, you know he'll be bombarded by Spider-Man questions on every red carpet. He'll be forced into giving a million superhumanly vague answers to protect blockbuster secrets. He's already quite an expert at being charming and articulate without actually saying anything, like in this new BBC interview.



In eight minutes we learn only that he loved Spider-Man as a 5 year-old and that Tobey Maguire gave his blessing for him to take over (though they've never met). He also didn't write an acceptance speech for the upcoming Golden Globes. But that's okay because he's not going to win (see the next bullet point).

Andrew is a little more effusive in this interview with Capital FM where he talks about wearing the Spider-Man suit.

"I shed a tear when I first wore the spandex. I didn't think that the spandex would make me so emotional, but it did."

 road Christian Bale will be hogging all the gold statues for his totally brilliant performance as a retired boxer/crack addict. Have you seen The Fighter yet?

Pixar_stamps  road This coming summer Pixar gets postage stamps celebrating their beloved characters from WALL•E, Cars, Ratatouille, Up and Toy Story. I thought you had to be more aged to receive your own stamps? Perhaps that only applies to flesh and blood characters and not pixellated ones.

 road Clint Eastwood has cast more stars for his upcoming J Edgar Hoover biopic including, probably, Charlize Theron and Dame Judi Dench. (I almost typed Dame Edna. What's wrong with me? One doesn't suspect Clint would go for Dame Edna even though Hoover was a rumored crossdresser.) There's no word yet on which role Dench would play but the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the famously closeted FBI director and Armie Hammer (The Social Network's Winklevoss twins) as his lover and star employee. It's now retitled J. Edgar.

 roadPicture 32 Here's an amusing bit about Oscar hopeful The King's Speech: Is it really just another Karate Kid remake?

  road Do you ever listen to soundtracks? The Academy has already declared a few major Oscar hopefuls like True Grit and Black Swan ineligible for their Original Score honor and now we know that Toy Story 3 won't be nominated either. The full list of 77 eligible scores is a thinner field than usual which might prepare the way for Oscar to get a little more experimental in what they choose; Could rock god Trent Reznor actually become an Oscar nominee for his thumping Social Network score? Or Perhaps it'll just clear the way for an Alexandre Desplat win? He's a likely nominee for The King's Speech (though his work on The Ghost Writer is even better) so if he can get around Hans Zimmer's big Edith Piaf flavored Inception score, he may be golden. Desplat is the movie's busiest composer now but I recently had a chat with him and he even let me know how he picks which scores go on his Oscar ballot.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Movies: Best LGBT Characters of the Film Year

 No wonder they're smiling. The Kids Are All Right won 4 Golden Globe nominations.



…lives for the the tail end of each year. That's when Oscar buzz wags the film dog. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.


With 2010 about to wrap, let's do a top ten list albeit a very specific one. Let's make like Barbara Walters and choose The Most Fascinating (Fictional, LGBT) People. Barbara obviously uses a different criteria than "fascinating" in her annual roundup. Hers  seems closer to "constantly in the news /has overworked publicist"  and our choices are also debatable. The ranking is somewhat arbitrary. It's a glorified excuse to talk about people, in this case the LGBT characters who were on movie screens in 2010. So let's get to it.

Facebook The Invisible Man
This following list is dedicated to the openly gay "Chris Hughes" in THE SOCIAL NETWORK (review), portrayed by Patrick Mapel (pictured left with Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg in the movie). Because this excellent movie chooses to focus so tightly on its intellectual property lawsuits, fraternity "punch" lust, and that central squabbling sextet of Ivy League straight boys (Zuckerberg, Saverin, Narendra, Parker, and "the Winklevii"), it apparently didn't have much room for diversity; the women and the gays involved in the Facebook story don't get much attention.

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much
The list is also dedicated to Ken from TOY STORY 3 (review) who would like to remind you that he is not a girl's toy.

Dishonorable Mention ~ The Odd Couple
While Sex & The City 2 (review) was not a "good" film by any standard definition, the reviews were so rabid and demented that you'd think loving shoes was the worst of all moral failings and having a vagina was cause for auto-scorn. Please note that movies about wealthy men displaying, boasting of, indulging in, talking about or fighting over their personal billions   — Inception, Iron Man 2, Wall Street Money Never Sleeps, The Social Network and more still — never have critics screaming "Out of touch! Tasteless! Insensitive in this economy!"  but show us four women who refuse to fly coach…

Lost in the uproar was its tone deaf and über obnoxious gay wedding.



Seriously, what was with putting Stanford and Anthony together? Worse yet, since they're the only flag-bearing gays in the Sex & The City world, their "open marriage" (distressing to our girls, who were always more prudish than the show's detractors claim)  essentially reinforces all the ol' tired "gays can't be monogamous arguments. More importantly, it totally spoils all those "which Sex & the City/Golden Girls character are you?" debates and online quizzes by implying that all gay men are Blanche/Samantha. If you fancy yourself a Carrie or a Charlotte or a Miranda, you will certainly object.

 In fairness, the  "Hate at First Sight Actually Means You'll Fall in Love" trope is very common in romantic comedies, if decidedly less so in life, so there's no reason that Sex… shouldn't employ it. But if this story decision was meant to be a long arc joke it just didn't pay off.


10. "Joan Jett" in THE RUNAWAYS
This 70s bio of pre Go-Gos grrrl rockers focused on "ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb" Dakota Fanning, but Kristen Stewart gave her best performance just off center as the iconic musician. Robbed of her usual mannerisms (was it the wig that freed her?) Stewart turned her familiar solemn pout into a rock chick snarl and captured Jett's sapphic rebel energy at its earliest stage. Whether Jett was urinating on guitars, commanding the stage or putting the moves on bandmates, Kristen didn't give a damn about her bad reputation.

09 "Sean" in BURLESQUE
Stanley Tucci may have just been in Burlesque (review) to remind Cher of how fierce she is. Just like he was there in The Devil Wears Prada to remind Meryl as Miranda Priestley how fierce she was. And just like he was there in Julie & Julia to remind Meryl as Julia how fierce she was. But he's good at the role, you must admit. At least Sean escapes the confines of this Tucci-perfected role and diva-adjacent relationship just long enough to have some obviously successful sexcapades with a hot young stud. Nigel would be so jealous.

08  "Lisbeth Salander" in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
The appeal of the Millenium Trilogy, those massive bestsellers about an antisocial computer hacker (Lisbeth) and an investigative reporter on the trail of serial killers is largely lost on me. But I couldn't not include it, given that you see people reading these books everywhere, David Fincher (The Social Network) is remaking it as we speak, it inspired a hilarious New Yorker spoof and it was the single biggest subtitled hit at the box office (and even more successful elsewhere). The Swedish film  didn't make any fuss at all over Lisbeth's fluid sexuality which is as it should be. Not that you could label Lisbeth that easily anyway. The appeal of the character may lie completely in her unknowability. Even Noomi Rapace's much lauded performance played with the idea of her impenetrable psyche.

07 "Miguel" in UNDERTOW
In this moving Peruvian drama, an Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film, Miguel is in love with another man. There are several problems: he's married, his wife is pregnant, they live in a deeply religious village and a tragedy will turn Miguel's life upside down. Here's my interview with the director.

06 "Nina Sayers" in BLACK SWAN
The Women's Film Critics Circle just gave Black Swan the dubious honor of "Worst Female Images in a Movie" in their year end awardage. It's true that Nina (Natalie Portman), the high-strung ballerina, is no role model. She won't be recording an "It Gets Better" video anytime soon; for Nina things only get worse. But she's still a fascinating character and her confusing unformed sexuality even moreso. Does she want to sleep with Thomas (Vincent Cassel) or does the very thought repulse her? Probably both. Is she a virgin or just sexually anorexic? Are her feverish lesbian impulses actual sexual urges or psychotic narcissism? The film has plenty of the latter since it loves to play with the doppelganger effect and even when there are no literal mirrors in any given scene to show Nina to Nina, we always seem to be seeing her figurative reflections.

05 "Steven & Phillip" in I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS
We just discussed this oddity (review) but whether or not its sometimes tasteless humor works for you and whether or not you cringe at the impossible to ignore 'Gay Life is Expensive!' plot force, it's tough not to admire the crazy sweetness and genuine affection Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor are conveying for each other in this love story between two convicts. They're on different paths, one is reformed,  the other not so much, but their hearts are entwined.

04 (tie) "Betta" in I AM LOVE and "Jesse" in LA MISSION
One could arge that Betta (Alba Rohrwacher) in I Am Love, who finds love with another woman while at college, or Jesse (Jeremey Ray Valdez) in La Mission (review), a high schooler who carries on with a rich college boy, are not fully fleshed out characters. The leads of their movies are actually their parents,  Emma (Tilda Swinton) and Che (Benjamin Bratt) respectively. But in both cases the brave teenager's coming out proves a positive emotional catalyst for the parent, though their initial reactions are quite opposite. We used to get a lot of movies about the coming out process and it's a mark of progress that we're now getting stories about new awakenings in the parents of gay children. It's mirroring what happens in real life. First you come out of the closet, then your family has to start the coming out process all over again, albeit in a different way.

03 "Nic & Jules" in THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore made such an awesome (married) team in Lisa Cholodenko's dramedy, that the movie has been richly discussed all year. The particulars were so very particular (sperm donor, gay porn, impulsive affairs, gay marriage that's only missing the paperwork, that emotional summer before college) that people are still arguing about it. Expect the conversation to continue once Oscar nominations hit next year. It's looking strong for Best Actress and Screenplay nominations. Will it be nominated for Best Picture? [Towleroad interview with Lisa Cholodenko.]


02 "Wallace Welles" in SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
When the movie was first announced, it seemed obvious that the character they'd screw up in a film version of the geek-beloved comic was Wally, the hero's best friend and roommate. Only they didn't. Wallace (played by Keiran Culkin) still sleeps in the same bed with Scott Pilgrim (not a big deal, but a funny visual), still is always one step ahead of Scott, and still flirts shamelessly with boys. He came to the screen with so much wit and confidence that while you could describe him reductively as just "the gay roommate" as I did in my review right here -oops – and leave it at that, but that'd be doing him a great disservice. He's the coolest character in the film. At least call him the "cool gay roommate" as they do in the source material.

Kimberlyreed 01 "Kimberly Reed" in PRODIGAL SONS
Prodigal Sons first began the festival circuit in the summer of 2008 but it won theatrical release and even an Oprah episode in February of 2010 and is now on DVD. It's one of the very best films of the year, whichever year it belongs to. The film begins as a personal diary/essay about a homecoming. Paul, a high school football hero, left Montana years ago and is returning as Kimberly.  Unlike most documentaries which have very clear agendas, Reed allows her own story to grow organically as it plays and she loses much of the star focus to her adopted brother and the tensions and relationships within her family. The movie, to its great credit, becomes less and less of a vanity project and more and more a spectacular study of identity politics and family. The director and star is a gorgeous articulate transgendered woman with a very specific story to tell but this is a movie that everyone should see, no matter how they self-identify.

Towleroad News #gay

—  admin