www.transgender-net.de [Bücher] [Filme] [Musik] [Leben] [Prominente] [Beauty] [Medizin]

[Recht &Politik] [Einkaufen] [Ausgehen][Gruppen][Datenschutz] [Wir über uns|


Überflüssiges amerikanisches Remake des französischen Originals "Ein Käfig voller Narren".

A film review by Ben Hoffman
Copyright 1996 Ben Hoffman

It was way back in 1978 that La Cage Aux Folles, the hilarious French film about homosexuals, the transvestite nightclub, the owner, his partner (in more ways than one), first arrived here. It was an instant critical and box office success. That could only mean one thing: a sequel. Three years later that arrived but the truism about sequels held and so that was an instant flop. Since everyone thinks "I can do anything better than you," another sequel arrived 3 years later and it was an abomination. That brings us to today's version, "The birdcage ." directed by Mike Nichols and oooh!. Vive la difference..

Nichols' version brings the story not merely up to date but demonstrates the difference between the "family values." rightwing politicians are pushing and what the value of a family really is. And Nichols' direction plus Elaine May's script are right on target.

About the cast: Everyone is exactly right; the casting is perfect. So much has been said and written about Robin Williams (who here plays the father of a "straight" son) it is almost superfluous to say more. But in a couple of seconds he can take you from laughter to tears and back. Would that there were more fathers like Armand Goldman, the gay father.

In the most wonderful performance of a very successful career in cinema, the one who got to me as the most brilliant was Dianne Weist as Louise Keeley, the wife of the conservative Senator (Gene Hackman) who are the parents of the lovely Barbara (Calista Flockhart). Special mention should be made, too, of Dan Futterman. who plays Armand's loving, devoted son to his father and father's partner, Albert (Nathan Lane.) Lane, who is mostly known for his work on the Broadway stage, is terrific. The whole movie is terrific. Did I like it? No, I loved it..

The Birdcage is an interesting and hilarious movie, which not only has a lot of suspense and humour, but also touches upon important social issues which are relevant today.

Armand Goldman (Robin Williams) and Albert (Nathan Lane) are two gay parents, with a son Val (Dan Futterman), who is the result of Armand's one and only sexual encounter with the opposite sex. Armand is also the owner of a transgender nightclub (with the same name as the movie) on Miami's South Beach, with Albert starring as Starina, the main attraction. When Albert and Armand are not busy with the nightclub, they are playing the role of mom and dad, respectively.

Val, who is 20, decides to get married to Barbara (Calista Flockhart), who is the daughter of an ultra-conservative Senator, Kevin Keeley (Gene Hackman) and a ditzy political wife (Dianne Weist). Keeley, who is also the co-founder of The Coalition For Moral Order, is thrown into a bit of controversy when the President of the Coalition is found dead in bed with a Black underaged prostitute. Val and Barbara fear (and rightfully so) how their parents will interact when they meet, and thus Val convinces Armand that they should be "normal" for one day when the Keeley's visit for dinner to get away from the media feeding frenzy.

The film plays on stereotypes to entertain, and laughs at those who take the stereotypes too seriously. Williams is decidedly uncomfortable in his role as Armand, but that does translate well for someone who's the owner of a busy nightclub and who manages a tempermental star. There is hardly a time when he gets to steal the spotlight, except for a brief moment when he goes through a sequence of dances which are tiny indications of Williams' comic abilities (which are vastly underutilised in the movie).

Even though the outcome of the dinner is predictable, there is a great deal of suspense maintained throughout, thanks to the spectacular acting of Nathan Lane (who, incidentally, will be starring in the Broadway version of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) who goes all out for his role as Val's mom, and Hank Azaria playing the role of Agador Spartacus, a Guatemalan housekeeper, who almost steals the show.

This is one of the funniest movies I've seen so far this year, and while there are moments when it seems to the drag on, it's definitely worth watching on the big screen---just to see Gene Hackman as a transvestite singing "we are family."