Stonewall (1995)DVD of the Week Thursday, October 1st, 2015
dvd of the week
Nigel Finch’s low-budget 1995 adaptation of Martin Duberman’s novel about the Stonewall riots does not have the squeaky clean production values of Roland Emmerich’s mess, and the older film is not great. But it’s a better movie and yet it ostensibly has a similar plot. Frederick Weller is Matty, the white proxy, who arrives in New York City by bus and is immediately befriended by La Miranda, a drag queen played by a young Guillermo Diaz (now on Scandal). After they are both arrested at a raid on the Stonewall Inn, a mother queen named Bostonia (Duane Boutte) bails them out. The three each have their subplots – Matty joins the Mattachine Society, La Miranda gets drafted and Bostonia is having an affair with a closeted mobster – and everything comes to a head at the riots. Matty is a much edgier character than Danny, and this helps immensely, and La Miranda and Bostonia are given much deeper and broader roles than the queens have in the new Stonewall. Also, there are musical numbers, and that always helps.
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