Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Review

Based on the very true story of Brandon Teena who when moving to a new town in Nebraska became very popular with a new group of friends. Hiding your past will never work out as he failed to mention that he was actually born as a woman named Teena Brandon.


Boys Don’t Cry is a very emotional film and tough to watch, something I have done quite a few times over the years and given what we now know about the trans community I feel as though this film could have actually been even more hard hitting. That does not take away some of the moments and the nature of the events which occurred, although I am sure the actual events were even worse than what was shown in the film.

Brandon knew that something wasn’t right throughout his life and that he was born into the wrong body. Even though we are only given brief moments that focus on that, something that should have been done in a deeper manner. We are shown that he straps away his breasts and then struggling with having a period. While also using socks down his pants as well as a dildo. He quickly falls for local girl Lana Tisdel who has never connected with anyone in this way before.

The love story shown between the pair is actually very sweet and nice to watch unfold. When John and Tom found out about his past it was never going to end well at all. The scene we then witness is truly horrific and I must warn that it is double rape. Something which I had actually forgotten just how bad it was to be brutally honest. A very tough to watch scene and something that I really do not understand why John and Tom did such a thing, finding out about the past was one thing but then to use the force of raping really was just so sick and sadistic.

Hilary Swank won her first Oscar for her performance in this film and it really is something incredible to see unfold. Probably the main thing that keeps the film going in all honesty. The rest of the performances aren’t really anything special which I believe would have made it even more tricky for her to pull this one out of the bag. Although given the the kick off in recent years for a woman playing a trans man rather than a trans actor I am sure this film will not be seen in the same light as it was back in 1999/2000 when it was released.

Given the nature of the story I do still feel it could well be an important film to give people an idea of what trans people must deal with, given this is based on an actual event it certainly highlights that story. The only thing I hope given the 21 years that have now passed since its release.

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