The Birdcage

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The Birdcage

What attracts us to the movie theatre on Friday nights? Is it the commercials we see? Or is it all the gossip we hear from friends and TV talk shows? Well for many, it is the critiques we read and hear almost every day. One who specializes in the professional evaluation and appreciation of literary or artistic works is a critic. The profession of movie criticism is one of much diversity. Reviews range anywhere from phenomenal to average. Not only are movies created for the entertainment and sheer pleasure of the audience, they create a market of jobs and open doors to the world of financial growth. The success of these films, whether they are tremendous or atrocious, is not only dependent of the actual film, but also upon the critic’s reviews. It is a form of assistant advertising, in addition to commercials and billboards. A movie review is composed of summaries, plots, controversial issues, perks, and detriments. They discuss the features of the movie and certain points that appeals to the critic. Not to forget that the sole purpose of writing these reviews is to persuade the reader to take on a pre-opinionated view of the film prior to viewing it. In addition, they hope the reader enjoys their style to further persuade them, as well as others, to persist in reading their reviews.

Based on a corroboration of the three critics, Hinson, Howe, and Berardinelli, there is one basic overview of the movie The Birdcage. For some twenty years, Armand (Robin Williams) and Albert (Nathan Lane) have lived together as husband and wife (so to speak). Both are openly gay, and seemingly comfortable with their sexuality. They are partners in business where Armand operates a drag nightclub and Albert is the star performer. They have a son, Val (Dan Futterman), the product of Armand's one-night rendezvous twenty-one years ago with big-time executive Katherine Archer (Christine Baranski). As far as his upbringing is concerned, Val is as much Albert's son as Armand's, and he is not ashamed of his unusual family situation, at least not in the normal course of things. Things go awry when Val becomes engaged to the 18-year old daughter of Senator Keeley (Gene Hackman), the co-founder of the Coalition for Moral Order who believes that Billy Graham is too liberal. Since there is no chance that Keeley would sanction a marriage between his daughter a...

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...s portrayed as such by all three critics. As awkward the “gay” situation may seem, The Birdcage takes on a light-hearted approach to make an audience laugh, not speculate. My personal feelings on the movie were similar if not the same to the ones of the three critics. They did not alter my opinion towards the movie in any way; they only informed me of those specifics I had not yet known. One point stands out in my mind the most, and that is the very informative quality of these critiques. One fact that I did learn from these reviews that I was not aware of beforehand is the movie’s basis, which is the older French film, La cage aux Folles. Although the reviews were good in nature, I feel the film deserved more appreciation and acknowledgement than what the critics gave them. If I had to choose to read any of the critics’ reviews for a second time, I would most definitely choose Hal Hinson. He without doubt gave the finest description of the movie that truly grasped the reader’s attention, not to mention he would have sold me a ticket opening night. In general, all three critiques possessed their own authenticity and style, which in turn is the source of the critic’s reputation.

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