Classics from the Queue: Kinky Boots

 I don’t think I’ve ever actually lied and said that I’ve seen Kinky Boots, before tonight, but I’ve always sort of felt like I had seen it. From the trailer, it looked like a fun fish out of water tale, that I would thoroughly enjoy but had no real urgent need to see. And, that’s basically true, but it got me thinking about a couple of things. One, Chiwetel Ejiofor has been amazing for so long…

I’m glad he’s ascended into the A-List conversation in the past few years.

Two, there is a whole subgenre of movies (many of which I love), which are ostensibly about characters who feel like misfits in industrial English towns trying something radical and waking everybody up to a sense of fun. Off the top of my head this movie brought to mind The Full Monty, Billy Elliotand Prideall of which have deceptively flippant trailers and then the movies themselves turn out to be meditations on the meaning of masculinity in a dying industrial culture. Which is fascinating, and in the case of Kinky Boots, done with a light enough touch that it doesn’t have to be that unless you’re looking for it. It could just be an excuse to watch Joel Edgerton look adorably lost while Lola (Ejiofor) sings a Nancy Sinatra song.

This was turned into a Tony winning musical a couple of years ago, and I wonder if it retains much of its emotional depth. (A problem I have with the Billy Elliot stage adaptation.) Or if it just becomes a glitter and rhinestone revue, which would be fun and totally valid, I’m just curious. I may have to see it when it comes through Austin this fall.

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