Directed by Kimberly Peirce • 1999 • United States
Starring Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard
Kimberly Peirce’s dramatization of the tragic true story of Brandon Teena—a young trans man living in rural Nebraska who was murdered in a vicious hate crime—brought the 1990s New Queer Cinema movement to new heights of mainstream critical acclaim and launched the career of Hilary Swank. She delivers an Academy Award–winning breakthrough performance as Brandon, whose budding relationship with Lana Tisdel (an Oscar-nominated Chloë Sevigny) is met with intolerance—and ultimately violence—when two friends learn truth about his identity. While the legacy of BOYS DON’T CRY is divisive for the liberties it takes with Brandon Teena’s story, it remains a harrowing depiction of the devastating consequences of bigotry.