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Well, it was worth it.
Barry's story is well known, so I'll skip a retelling. Although I never fully understood Barry's interest in Calpernia, only because the movie didn't make any attempts to delve into the "why" of his attraction to her, I found myself moved by their love, and Barry's fierce determination to keep his private life (Calpernia) private.
What a shame that he shared barracks with such a horrendous and sick person (Justin). I know some people in the armed forces that are gay (but don't ask me who, because I won't tell <grin>), and they are well accepted by their ... I don't know the technical terms here...comrades in arms. How's that. A pity that Barry didn't get stuck with a person whose problem was certainly far worse than OCD.
Anyway. What I found particularly moving, and what has caused me to watch the movie again, were the special features on the CD. Usually the special features are interesting for ancillary purposes. But these were different. First, I was surprised to find that Calpernia's [...] weren't real. I had been rather convinced that a real transgender was playing her role. Instead, it was a male, with a rather flat chest, so his performance was even more interesting. That's one of the main reasons I want to watch the film again.
Calpernia Adams herself appeared in the Special Features, and I was so surprised. I don't have a tremendous amount of experience with transgenders, but did not expect her to be so much like a lady. NOT a gay man acting like a lady, but a real lady.Read more ›
The message, seemed to me to be about homophobia. I know a lot of trans people will cry "transphobia", but we suffer violence because some in society see us as sexual beings, nothing more, so the focus of the film there I feel was an important one to make.
As a transgendered woman myself, I bought the movie with the wrong focus, the wrong intent. I was expecting a movie with Calpernia as the central character. I'm glad that the producers centered the movie around Barry (played with sensitivity by Troy Garity), it is a fitting tribute to a decent human being. And it's quite nice to not have it sensationalised as well, just played as what it is, a tragic romance.
Sorry, but Lee just couldn't muster the voice at all. He sounded like a man trying to sound like a woman. A little vocal preparation would have helped there. That being said, he did put in a pretty good performance all in all. It can't be easy being a bloke and playing a part like that, so hats off for his courage to try and make it work.
Like Calpernia I was in the navy (12 years, though I began transition whilst still in the service) and what Barry went through I have seen and experienced. Don't ask don't tell simply does not work, even if you're not gay, but if, like Barry, you fall in love with someone considered "wrong." A complete re-education policy needs to be set in place, and the reason is aptly set out in this film, graphically and simply. The psychological goading of the young recruit was exceptionally well produced I thought, considering the time constraints within the movie itself and brought back some terrible memories.Read more ›
Fisher was his own worst enemy and downfall. He was trying to do good but yet, screwed up because he was unable to control himself and expected everyone to fall at his feet. But he messed up constantly and he too would have to meet his perilous fate.
Showtime doesn't hold back on issues that affect us in the public. They aren't afraid to address homosexuality where mainstream media sugarcoats to not offend viewers. It is a tragedy that a young man who falls in love with someone considered "abnormal" is outcasted by society and the military. "Don't ask, don't tell" is just another way to keep gays and lesbians in the closet.
Here is a true story about Barry Winchell, a young soldier from the heartland and fresh out of basic training setting out somewhat hesitantly into dangerous sexual territory. And what danger there is in wait for this man! His military leaders and comrades have made life on base for him, or for anyone awakening to gay feelings, a living hell. It's a wonder that he didn't snap from the constant drumming hostility and it's really a testament to his bravery and maturity that he withstood that humiliating barrage without complaining.
Troy Garity's performance as Barry is, I think, Oscar worthy and Lee Pace is completely convincing as the transgendered club performer Calpurnia Addams. Sean Hatosy plays the manipulative Pvt Fisher as a kind of "Iago" character so well that I didn't realize until later how seamless his performance is. And the young actor who plays Barry's killer really captures the feeble-minded brutishness of Pvt Glover to perfection. I really must hand it to Showtime for hiring Frank Pierson and all these incredible actors to portray this still fresh tragedy with such courage.
The DVD version which I bought has some great interviews with the actors and some of the actual persons that helps fill out the total story. I recommend this film to anyone in general and specifically to any young man gay or gay-curious who might be thinking of joining the military.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This dvd has no sound, you can see the picture but you hear nothingPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
While this movie isn't for everyone, I enjoyed it. Lee Pace is amazing!Published 2 months ago by Karla Wallingford
Great film , true passionate and very sad , but great viewing !!!Published 2 months ago by Susan H.
Great movie, and very fast shipping, also love the price!! Thank you so much, keep up the great work!!Published 2 months ago by Jamie
This is such an amazing movie, even if it is a bit older. Be prepared to cry at the end.Published 2 months ago by Nickolas Morgaan
Very well written and the characters do an amazing job. Its based on a true story, so....that got to me a bit (the ending), i wont spoil it, but it was a great movie.Published 4 months ago by Lady of Blackjack