A Critique of the Movie, The Birdcage (La Cage aux Folles) Essay

1935 Words 8 Pages
A Critique of the Movie, The Birdcage (La Cage aux Folles)

A gay couple, living in a gay apartment, with a gay houseboy, above a gay nightclub, in a gay city . . . and they have to straighten it all out for one evening. In 1996 La Cage aux Folles (a 1978 French play) was remade by MGM into The Birdcage, a daringly flamboyant comedy that is in-tune with the times and redefines the idea of family values. It combines the talents of Robin Williams (Armand), Nathan Lane (Albert), and Hank Azaria (Agador) with writer Elaine May and director Mike Nichols. The film is brought to life by the superb uniqueness of each character and what they bring to the screen and add to the plot. This film sheds a new light on non-traditional but
…show more content…
With Albert every little thing that happens is tragic, resulting in a hysterical screech, whine, or theatrical "woe-is-me pout." He keeps himself on the verge of a nervous breakdown to make sure he's got everyone's attention. Albert is "so maternal he's practically a breast" (Nichols) and has been the sensitive and devoted mother to Armand's son Val (Dan Futtermann) for twenty years. These attributes cause him to be a truly unique character to both this film and his previous endeavors. The true beauty of Albert is his fearless presentation of himself. He is who he is and of that he is proud.

Williams is far more sedate in this film than how we're used to seeing him. He's not swooping around the screen as he was in Aladdin, nor is he prancing around in a dress like in Mrs. Doubtfire. In The Birdcage he plays wonderfully (and flawlessly) alongside Lane as Armand, the masculine half of the couple and father to Val. He is far more subdued (though he does do an uproarious on-stage dance demonstration involving the moves of "Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, Michael Kidd, Madonna, Madonna, Madonna . . .") (Nichols) and down to Earth than Albert. Armand spends most of the movie chasing after Albert and smoothing his ruffled feathers when his overly sensitive feelings have been hurt. When Val's fiance's (Calista
Open Document