Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 1999. Fox Searchlight Pictures, The Independent Film Channel Productions, Killer Films, Hart-Sharp Entertainment. Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce, Andy Bienan. Cinematography by Jim Denault. Produced by John Hart, Eva Kolodner, Jeffrey Sharp, Christine Vachon. Music by Nathan Larson. Production Design by Michael Shaw. Costume Design by Victoria Farrell. Film Editing by Tracy Granger, Lee Percy. Academy Awards 1999. Boston Film Critics Awards 1999. Golden Globe Awards 1999 . Independent Spirit Awards 1999. Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 1999. National Board of Review Awards 1999. New York Film Critics Awards 1999. Toronto International Film Festival 1999.
Hilary Swank gives a fantastic performance as Brandon Teena, born Teena Brandon until she grows up and realizes that her identity is that of a male. No surprise that unveiling this aspect of himself doesn’t go over quite as well as you’d hope in a gritty Nebraska town. Chloe Sevigny is excellent as Teena’s girlfriend, a woman who suspects the truth about her boyfriend but feels such love for him that she wouldn’t care either way. This is true independently-minded filmmaking, and directorial newcomer Kimberly Peirce does a fantastic job of sticking to her guns all the way. That said, it’s also a dark and upsetting movie that is not at all easy to sit through despite being totally worth it.