The Birdcage

Film, Comedy

Time Out says

Anodyne Hollywood remake of the 1978 gay farce La Cage aux Folles. Homely Armand (Williams) and drag queen Albert (Lane) are thrown into a flap by the imminent arrival of Armand's son Val (Futterman), his fiancée Barbara (Flockhart), and her parents, bigoted Senator Keeley (Hackman) and his well-meaning wife Louise (Wiest). While Albert sulks and minces, Armand removes the soft furnishings and objets d'art. But from the moment their lisping Hispanic houseman Agador (Azaria) trips in on high heels, the edifice of lies starts to totter. Williams' unusually restrained performance is his best for years, Hackman again reveals his under-used gift for comedy, and the build-up to the hysterical finale is dotted with slick flourishes. Lane's squealing Albert, on the other hand, is a test. Director Nichols and scriptwriter Elaine May obviously see this as a satire on moralistic, right-wing Republicanism. In fact, it doesn't so much champion diversity as celebrate conformity, stressing the gay and straight characters' shared investment in the idea of 'family', however that mutable institution may now be defined.


Release details

119 mins

Cast and crew

Mike Nichols
Elaine May
Robin Williams
Gene Hackman
Nathan Lane
Dianne Wiest
Dan Futterman
Calista Flockhart
Hank Azaria
Christine Baranski
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