David Fox and Cameron Kelsall
The purview of so much gay theater still focuses squarely on trauma—consider the recent Tony sweep of The Inheritance—that the story of a queeny pre-teen who loves Diana Ross and lives out loud unapologetically seemed like a welcome tonic.
Watching Gloria Grahame—lips moist and parted, eyes staring off into some faraway middle distance—is absolutely arresting. She looks like the quintessential Noir femme fatale that was, in fact, probably her principal calling card.
Sweet Bird of Youth closes out an undeniably successful decade for Tennessee Williams, on stage and screen, and bisects his body of work, with his mature hits on one side and his experimental, often lambasted later plays on the other.
I can safely say that this is the gay drama I’ve been waiting for: a genuinely devastating drama that doesn’t treat its characters like lambs waiting for the slaughter or overdose on weepiness, and a queer narrative that unapologetically centers the queer perspective.
The first thing I noticed about Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is how it’s been slimmed down and punched up—clocking in at just 95 minutes, it hits all the marks of August Wilson’s original while smartly settling into a snappier, more focused filmic style.
While I would say that the great James M. Cain remains underappreciated as a novelist in literary circles, he’s generally done very well by Hollywood. The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity have had multiple film adaptations, and at least one of each is a classic.