Title: Prick Up Your Ears
Director: Stephen Frears
Writer: Alan Bennett, based on the book by John Lahr
Stars: Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, Vandess Redgrave, Frances Barber, Julie Walters, Wallace Shawn
The Story: Biographer John Lahr reconstructs the story of swinging ’60s London playwright Joe Orton and his long-suffering lover Kenneth Halliwell, who pursue fame, danger and each other over the course of an ill-fated fifteen-year relationship.
Why It’s Great: This story is set at a time when homosexuality was vigorously oppressed in England, but Frears has no interest in presenting his characters as sainted victims: This is a true story about two guys who happened to personify every negative gay stereotypes: they were promiscuous, neurotic, snotty, violent, and on and on. But Frears knows that he doesn’t need to “humanize” anyone. With his usual self-assured swagger, he makes these two more sympathetic and compelling with every flaw they show. In fact, the movie has my all time favorite “fall in love” scene. All too often, someone walks into a room and our hero falls suddenly head over heels and we think– really? Why her? Why now? What is their special connection? It’s not enough to just show her flipping her hair. All the harder then, to write a believable scene in which a heretofore straight young man suddenly falls in love with a fat, balding male classmate! Here’s how they do it: They’re students at RADA, doing improv. They’re told to pass around an imaginary cat. Everybody pretends to merely pet it, until Molina gets it. He acts uncomfortable holding it, then he develops an affection for it– then suddenly it scratches him with its imaginary claw. His eyes go dead and he pitilessly wrings its neck, then hands its limp body to the next classmate. Cut to Oldman: instantly smitten. And so are we.
Two more reasons at Cockeyed Caravan…Link to this Post: http://www.moviewithme.com/blog/archives/960