332. The Crying Game

Movie: The Crying Game

Release Date: October 30, 1992

Director: Neil Jordan

Starring: Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, Jaye Davidson, Forest Whitaker.

Tag Lines: “Play At Your Own Risk.”

“The movie everyone is talking about… But no one is giving away its secrets.”

“Desire is a Danger Zone.”

Relevance: I wasn’t able to see ‘The Crying Game’ until long after its theatrical run. In fact, I probably didn’t see it until the summer of 1993 via Blockbuster rental. Unfortunately, I saw the movie knowing the “big reveal” in the plot. Thanks in part to Billy Crystal who during the 1993 Oscar telecast in which the movie was nominated for six awards kind of gave away the secret in his opening song. “Those eyes. Those thighs. SURPRISE! It’s ‘The Crying Game.'”

Regardless of knowing the plot twist, I still found the movie to be a smart, haunting mystery and loved the discussion of race, nationality, politics and sexuality that the screenplay tackled. This was way before transgender was an acceptable lifestyle, and although we have made steps in the right direction, we still have a long way to go where that is concerned. In the early 1990’s however, being gay was still very much taboo in the United States. What I liked most about this was that although it was an important element of the story, it wasn’t its main focus. But seeing a movie with this subject matter was both brave and groundbreaking.

The movie has a gritty, independent film feel to it and can be classified as drama, thriller, spy movie and romance. It is superbly directed by Neil Jordan. He created a film noir for a new generation that is riveting to watch. It’s a movie that I have visited many times since its release.

Today’s Thoughts: Although I have watched ‘The Crying Game’ many times throughout the years, it probably has been about ten years or so since I watched it in its entirety. It was an enjoyable watch today and still has that “independent film” feel to it that I love so much. Beautifully directed by Mr. Jordan, it has fantastic performances across the board, especially Miranda Richardson and Forest Whitaker.

There is no other way to say this, so I’ll just say it. Miranda Richardson plays an awful, evil bitch. But she is so fucking good at it. Her look in the second half of the film is totally iconic. That black wig is fierce, as is her character.

Forest Whitaker has so many great moments. His screen time is somewhat limited due to his shocking demise, but every minute spent is flawless. There are not many humorous parts to the film, but his “peeing” scene always makes me laugh. Kudos goes to Stephen Rea in that scene as well.

One part that I had forgotten about was the story of “The Scorpion and the Frog.” I loved how that simple story shared between two characters at the beginning and again at the end of the movie brings up the idea that “something is or isn’t in our nature.” That discussion is one of the themes of the movie and for some reason really stood out to me during today’s viewing. Nature versus nurture. Can people really change?

Not surprising, ‘The Crying Game’ becomes the fourth movie on my list to show male full frontal nudity. Not a shocker considering the plot twist. You can check out 335. Born on the Fourth of July, 343. Sideways and 357. Amadeus for the other “full monty” movies on my list. Again, some may find this an odd thing to discuss about a movie, but considering the double standard Hollywood has about male vs. female nudity in film, I find it important. When a penis shows up on screen, it usually receives headlines about how brave it was for an actor to show his “privates.” Not so much for females. I am hopeful for the day when nudity can happen without snickers of “so and so shows his wiener” and people just watch the movie.

Awards: Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Neil Jordan (winner), Academy Award for Best Picture (nomination), Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Stephen Rea (nomination), Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Jaye Davidson, Academy Award for Best Director, Neil Jordan (nomination), Academy Award for Best Film Editing, Kant Pan (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best British Film (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Film (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Direction, Neil Jordan (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Actor, Stephen Rea (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Jaye Davidson (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Miranda Richardson (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay – Original, Neil Jordan (nomination), Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Neil Jordan (nomination), Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film (winner), Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Foreign Film (winner), Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress, Miranda Richardson (nomination), Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay, Neil Jordan (nomination), National Board of Review Award for Top Ten Films (winner), National Board of Review Award for Most Auspicious Debut, Jaye Davidson (winner), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor, Stephen Rea (winner), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Film (nomination), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director, Neil Jordan (nomination), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress, Miranda Richardson (nomination), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor, Jaye Davidson (nomination), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay, Neil Jordan (nomination), New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress, Miranda Richardson (winner), New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay, Neil Jordan (winner), PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, Stephen Wooley (winner), Writers Guild of America Award for best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Neil Jordan (winner).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Netflix, DVD Availability.

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