Follow Teena Brandon as she becomes Brandon Teena and claims a new male identity in the rural town of Falls City, Nebraska. There, Brandon successfully pulls off portraying a man unbeknownst to the women he's dating, eventually falling in love with Lana. He also befriends Lana's friends John and Tom. At First, Brandon's new friends like him and treat him as a buddy. But when Brandon's sexual identity is revealed, the deception triggers a spiral of horrific violence that ends in homicide.
This stunning debut feature tells the strange and resonant story of Brandon Teena, who despite being born Teena Brandon went on to create a charismatic identity as a young man. Brandon's ultimately wrenching tale may sound tabloid-ready, but on screen it turns into Theodore Dreiser's idea of American tragedy. The film makes it hauntingly real and even tenderly romantic, with the astonishing acting needed to make it work. One of the year's best. — Janet Maslin
1999-10-01 | Janet Maslin | Read the New York Times Review of Boys Don't Cry