Monday, April 20, 2015

Stonewall (1995)

Director: Nigel Finch

Stars: Guillermo Díaz, Frederick Weller, Brendan Corbalis, Duane Boutte, Bruce MacVittie, Luis Guzmán, Candis Cayne

It's 1969, and group of drag queens are headed to the Stonewall Inn for a drink when they run into Matty Dean, a young guy that just got into the city. He follows them into the bar only to be attacked by a cop for taking up for his new friends, when the bar gets an unknown inspection. The drag queen that Matty Dean was standing up for, La Miranda, takes a liking to him and offers him a place to stay. Matty meets Ethan, who is handing out fliers near the bar for meeting of the Homophile movement. Ethan and Matty become too close which leaves La Miranda heartbroken over him.

This movie deals with real issues that happened in 1969. The Stonewall Inn Riots happened when the gay community of New York City was tired of how police were treating them in public and in private. The movie has moments throughout of people that lived throughout that time period and talk about what it was like during the riots. This is the only movie that deals with the topic of the gay riots. It seemed okay, since all of the other people got their turn at rioting, so now it was the gays turn at it.

Guillermo Díaz was terrific at the role of La Miranda. All through the 90's he was one of the indie kings. He did so many great movies, and this one placed him at his acting best. You really did believe that he was this drag queen and not an actor. Frederick Weller was an actor I had never seen or heard of before, but for this role, he really took the part to heart. The rest of the cast was very well performed.

The soundtrack for this movie is made up of girl group songs. The Shangri-Las – "Give Him a Great Big Kiss", The Butterflies – "Gee Baby Gee", The Shangri-Las – "Sophisticated Boom", The Shirelles – "Ooh Poo Pah Doo", The Shangri-Las – "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)", and The Ad Libs – "Boy from New York City" just to name a few. It is a soundtrack to check out.

This is a great movie that will probably want to watch over and over again. The acting and the story work so well together in the backdrop of some actual events. The music will keep you singing. Enjoy.

Stonewall (1995) Trailer

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