[Last Film I Saw] To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995)

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Title: To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
Year: 1995
Language: English, French, Italian
Country: USA
Genre: Comedy
Director: Beeban Kidron
Writer: Douglas Carter Beane
Music: Rachel Portman
Cinematography: Steve Mason
Cast:
Patrick Swayze
Wesley Snipes
John Leguizamo
Stockard Channing
Jason London
Blythe Danner
Chris Penn
Melinda Dillon
Arliss Howard
Alice Drummond
Jennifer Milmore
Marceline Hugot
Beth Grant
Michael Vartan
Jamie Harrold
RuPaul
Julie Newmar
Robin Williams
Naomi Campbell
Rating: 6.0/10

The film is embellished as an American version of THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT (1994) – which I think I watched more than 10 years ago and now my long-term memory fails me again) – however, certainly its lavish drag-queen attire exerts its upmost momentum to be both optically impressive and controversially sensationalistic as what PRISCILLA has managed to express.

The stale countryside housewives dress-up-and-shine concoction is rather self-consciously embarrassing than thematically entertaining while the correlations between various characters is somewhat the thing in its favor, which is completely attributed to a more-than-ordinary cast, particularly Stockard Channing and Patrick Swayze’s part, which conspicuously is the corniest one but the punch is potent enough to sense an empathy for them, and Snipe and Leguizamo are incredibly diverting in their muscular and exotically Latin frames respectively.

The back story of our three drag-queens (or wait, two queens and one princess) are to a large extent sidelined so as not to hinder its over-optimistic comic vein, which for me could be a more arresting story than the feel-good edification of the inhabitants in a tiny rural town, nevertheless the antithesis is orchestrated with some heartwarming liveliness despite of the predictable turning point.

The film merely tells a conventionally orthodox story with an unconventionally mores-defying disadvantaged group. Against its hilarious ethos, my mawkish sentiment prevails as it’s hard to accept that both Swayze and Penn have passed away already.

ps: this is the very last film I have watched in 2011, wish myself and all my friends and lovers an upbeat mood during the whole 2012 and forget the bucket list!

Oscar 1995 - To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar

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