Hedwig and the Angry Inch
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

This movie is a tour de force featuring John Cameron Mitchell who wrote, directed and stars in the title role.  Hedwig and the Angry Inch started out as an off-Broadway musical, then went to Broadway and is now a film.  It is hard to think of films to which I would compare this film. It is in the spirit of Rocky where Sylvester Stallone created an unforgettable character while writing, directing and starring.  Hedwig and the Angry Inch couldn't be more different although it is about a person who has been through hard times and risen above it all the while never losing faith in his dream.  Hedwig and the Angry Inch is also a bit reminiscent of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert where three transsexuals perform across the Australian outback.  Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the story of a boy who grows up in Germany around the time that the Berlin Wall is being built.  After a botched sex change operation (hence the title of this film), Hansel now Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell) moves to the USA with an American serviceman.  When Hedwig is abandoned, he turns to music and is soon playing in a rock band in drag.  This film is a musical and the re-telling of each traumatic stage of Hedwig's life is accompanied by songs he has written about them.  We follow Hedwig on a tour of seedy bars around America as he follows his ex-lover, another much more famous rock star (Michael Pitt) whom Hedwig accuses of stealing his material.  He is accompanied by his band, his agent (Andrea Martin) and his lover (Miriam Shor).  This film is unique and well worth seeing.  John Cameron Mitchell makes Hedwig an unforgettable character as he belts out song after song and goes from disaster to disaster.  Hedwig and the Angry Inch could have easily degenerated in a Second City TV sketch, and the presence of Andrea Martin makes that possibility seem real.  But somehow Mitchell with the force of his will keeps the film from veering off track.  The strangeness of Hedwig and the Angry Inch  is heightened by the fact that Cameron, a man, is playing a woman, and Shor, a woman, is playing his boyfriend.  While watching, one is really never sure of how much of Hedwig is imagination and how much is really Cameron.  However, while he is a gay, he hasn't had any operations and he is from Texas not East Germany.  So, it is from Cameron's imagination that Hedwig's life has sprung as a metaphor for the Berlin Wall which he can never really get across.