I confess I had sort of been avoiding Boys Don't Cry. I remember when the incident the film is based on happened; I wasn't spending as much time hanging around on soc.motss & soc.bi as a few years earlier, but I stuck my nose in every so often (if only to see what Arnold Zwicky was up to) and I happened to stick my nose in the middle of the reaction to Brandon's (fn/ln) death. I wasn't certain that a film - even an even-handed one - about what happened wouldn't upset and depress me; despite appearances, I really do try and avoid blatant triggers, in general. [Which is why I will never see the Apostle, no matter how many people tell me it is brilliant. I'd have to go shoot someone afterwards, and my life is already complicated enough.]
It is an even-handed treatment of the story, pretty much. It diverges from how I remember things happening here and there (most notably in the relationship between Brandon and Lana, and the extent of Lana's knowledge/acceptance of Brandon's 'equipment' or lack thereof) but that's why they say things like "based on" and "fiction" and besides, 1993 was a while ago so the mists of time may well have obscured some of the details in my memory. It manages not to demonize the killers but they're certainly not particularly sympathetic, either. Pathetic, perhaps - but realistically so; the small town asshole is a recognized breed per the American Primate Fanciers Club, and these boys carried all the defining conformational points.
So I liked it, and it didn't depress me anymore than the usual realization that some people out there are wastes of perfectly good carbon using up oxygen I might need someday.
Croupier, though, was brilliant. I had meant to see it in the theatre, but like so many films never quite got around to it. Smoothly done, very smoothly done - like fine chocolate or good Cognac. It doesn't suffer from the small screen, so by all means see it, if you haven't. An Author with a Past, sex, death, betrayal, recursion - all tied up neatly at the end, with loose strings tucked under. If you want a grand Theme, keep an eye on all the references to duality, and mirrors, and reality vs. appearance... Are we who we say we are, or are we whom other people think they see in us? Just how much of the writer goes into the written, and how much of a two-way street is the birth and development of characters in a particular work - the author shapes them, true, but perhaps they also shape the author. And so forth...
The truly amazing thing to me is: this was directed by the same man who directed Flash Gordon. Also Get Carter, though, (the first one, thankyouverymuch) which makes a good deal more sense.
It wasn't what I was expecting, thankfully, which I admit may prejudice my view of its excellence - I was semi-dreading something along the lines of Casino/Goodfellas. Don't get me wrong, I like Scorsese, I just get bored with gangsters really rapidly. I have friends who like gangster movies. Who really, really like gangster movies. I've seen a lot of gangster movies. No, really. Far, far more than someone who really doesn't care for gangsters would usually be expected to have seen. On the other hand, I probably would have never wandered onto the Hong Kong action flicks without said gangster aficionados' relentless ferreting out of all things gangsterish. But I digress... Croupier has only the merest hint of gangsters, just a dash for spice. The focus is elsewhere - beguilingly so, IMuHO. If you've ever had anything resembling writer's block, you'll understand.
So ends another exciting evening at Chez Fou.