The grimly compelling true story of Teena Brandon, a 21-year-old Nebraskan who chose to carry herself off as a boy, 'Brandon'. When her hometown of Lincoln gets too hot, s/he picks up with a rough, rootless bunch from Fall City, including ex-con John (Sarsgaard), who has 'no impulse control', his buddy Tom (Sexton), who's into self-inflicted pain and arson, and the white trash glamour girl Lana (Sevigny). When Brandon falls in love with the latter, it's a safe bet things aren't going to work out. Like a number of Christine Vachon productions, this deals in sexual transgression and retribution, but director Peirce keeps a lid on her artier tendencies, with the focus squarely on the actors. Given Hilary Swank's brave, enthralling and Oscar-winning performance, and the dismaying power of the story, that makes a lot of sense.
Cast and crew
Brendan Sexton III