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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

The Birdcage (1996)

There are so many movies that have somehow escaped my notice over the years and there are just as many that I haven’t watched for various reasons. This is one of those movies.

The Birdcage (1996)

I remember my sister watching this film a lot when it came out on video and we lived at home with my parents. For all the times she watched it and I saw bits of it, I never actually watched the whole movie until a couple of weeks ago.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a comedy starring the late, great Robin Williams (Mrs. Doubfire), Nathan Lane (Mouse Hunt), Gene Hackman (Unforgiven), Hank Azaria (Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian), Dianne Wiest (Edward Scissorhands) and Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal) among many others.

It’s a remake of of the 1978 French-Italian film, “La Cage aux Folles” (The Cage of Madwomen) which itself is a film adaptation of the play of the same name written by Jean Poiret.

This is what it’s about:

A gay cabaret club owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée's right-wing moralistic parents.

I really enjoyed this movie. It’s a really simple and to-the-point story and it’s done really well.👌

As much as we’re used to Robin Williams’ scene stealing performances it’s actually Nathan Lane and Hank Azaria who own this film. They’re both big characters and absolutely hilarious, while Williams holds back and plays more of the straight man (no pun intended). It’s interesting (and entertaining) to see him toned down alongside Nathan Lane’s effeminate and flamboyant, drama Queen of a character, Albert.

I can’t say enough about Nathan Lane in this film, he’s just brilliant but as I said, Hank Azaria is also superb as Agador their Guatemalan housekeeper. He’s such an underrated actor!

The son character, “Val” played by Dan Futterman got on my nerves a bit. I know it’s all part of the story but his constant insistence on the gay characters toning down their “gayness” irritated me to the point where if I were Robin Williams’ character I would’ve told him to do one! 😡

Fortunately though he does redeem himself towards the end of the film.

All in all this is a really fun comedy and worth watching just for Nathan Lane and Hank Azaria’s performances, not to mention the last act of the movie where we get to see Gene Hackman as we’ve never seen him before. 😆

You can rent it on Amazon Prime for £3.49.

Seen it? Let me know below.👇🦜

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