• Ellis Barthorpe

The Boys in the Band ★★★★

Joe Mantello

Starring Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Brian Hutchison

Through alcohol and pathetic fallacy, a rise in tension pushes the incredible cast of actors through a selection of monologues and confrontational moments.


The film opens in what is supposed to be a 1968 New York, though the costume and speech style doesn't quite match the location and 60's soundtrack. We do however have a fantastic montage unwinding in front of us to 'Hold on, I'm coming' as we get a brief glimpse of our cast. Michael (Jim Parsons) and Donald (Matt Bomer) set the scene intricately showing their believably intense relationship. Though in this scene the language used for reappropriating may be a little too frequent it establishes the confidence the characters have in their sexuality.

Parsons remains exceptional throughout, so much emotion drains from every part of him and the moment when he confronts Alan for his homophobic attitude is unmatchable in quality.


It is obvious from the overlapping dialogue and narrative setup that this text was originally written as a stage production, but to me the film often feels like it's set in the present day. That being said, the way that director Joe Mantello showcases homophobia in this era is great. He has not held back in pushing this issue to the forefront of the unfolding events and it lets his LGBTQ actors really perform. Having the character of Alan adds an evil presence to fuel the character's fire throughout.

Each actor is given a a complex and telling monologue and all of them are delivered beautifully, no weak areas.


This exceptional cast and exceptional screenplay could easily be lined up for awards season. Though the depiction of the era didn't always seem accurate, the important themes make the narrative relevant from start to finish.


TOP TRACK - This guy's in love with you - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass


The Boys in the Band available now on Netflix

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