on 6 February 2005
As one of the arrogant, convinced of my own aesthetic judgement, I have made it one of my life's works to show this film to as many people as I can. No-one has disagreed thus far. It can be quite a hard sell - a punk-rock musical about transsexualism leads the legions of Rocky Horror nay-sayers into a panic of anticipated dislike, but the story, once you watch it, is universal, tragic, and ultimately uplifting. Of course it doesn't hurt that the songs kick ass as well, but rather than the traditional spontaneous bursting into song that irritates critics of musicals, the music is kept in it's rightful place - on stage and performed to a crowd by a real band. This doesn't mean it's incidental - the more you watch this film, the more the music means.
The story has been outlined above and below; all I have to offer by way of new input is that I have watched this film many times with many people, and have loved it every time, as have they. For the lonely, the wistful, and the unfulfilled romantics, this film tells a story that begins as bizarrely alien to most of us, and somehow ends up genuinely reflecting the way we can all feel sometimes, regardless of gender or sexual preference. Just like Hedwig, my search for my other half goes on. Just like Hedwig, I have found my hope again.
Watch this film. Put aside preconceptions, and try something different. It might not change your life, but then again, who knows?
on 4 June 2007
This movie is a musical, there is no denying that. It is an adaptation from an original off-broadway show which had some, but not great, critical success. Versions of it have been staged all over the world, albeit in small - sometimes amateur theatres. If muscials are your type of thing then great, but even if they aren't, this movie has so much more. It has a real heart.
If you are looking for a movie about decency, humour, love and sacrifice - then look no further. This movie has to be one of my favourites of all time. The songs in it are not just musical numbers. They move the piece forward and give us insight into Hedwig's past and present feelings. They stand extreamely well on their own, but when placed into this medium of a fantastic story, with brilliant performances and characters that you can relate and sympathise with - then they become small works of art that collectively fit together to make a masterpiece.
John Cameron Mitchel's performance and direction is nothing short of extraordinary. He manages, with what seems so little effort, to instantly make the audience connect with the character of Hedwig. Hedwig's story is in many ways tragic but she never loses her sense of humour, and John's timing is impeccable.
The performances from the supporting cast are strong even though their screen time is limited. It is very much Hedwig's story through narration to resolution. Nethertheless there isn't a weak moment from any of the cast - from the rock and roll opening, to the heart lifting and thought provoking finale.
This movie will be one you will want to watch again and again - always getting something new from it each time. I have watched it many times with new people and they have always really enjoyed the 2 hours or so - lost in the world of a drag queen.
on 25 February 2002
This is an amazing movie. Having read some rave reviews, I dragged my boyfriend to see it and was slightly apalled for the first five minutes when it seemed to be a gritty docu-drama. Soon, however, it kicked into high gear with great songs, amazing performances, a witty script and some fantastic animation sequences (I'm in danger of running out of superlatives here).
Having seen it three times in the cinema, I was prepared for the DVD to seem a bit pale by comparison, and it is definitely better to see it on the big screen with an enthusiastic audience. However, the various extras on the DVD help to make up for the small-screen experience. The lengthy documentary, for example, is extremely watchable TV in its own right and offers the delights of hearing John Cameron Mitchell's conservative military family respond to their son's exotic career.
Buy it now! And then buy copies for all your friends!
on 26 September 2002
I'm only inspired to write amazon reviews about outstanding media, and this movie is well worth the time.
Though initially a little skeptical (..and the angry what?!), I loved every minute of this film. The musical numbers are appropriate, glam-rock songs, whilst Hedwig's performance is lively and emotive.
"..six inches forward and five inches back; I got an angry inch.."
Yes. It does mean what you are imagining it might.
Though the storyline is quite simple, the film is kept interesting through use of flashbacks and serious moments, alongside Hedwig's autobiographical gigs. It is full of witty and often ironic humour, sometimes leaving you thinking "Wait.. Am I supposed to laugh at that?", and is very entertaining.
Unlike other trannie-rock-musicals (well, unlike Rocky Horror anyways), Hedwig sparks a range of emotions, and leaves you touched, and thoughtful.
Everyone shuld see this film!
on 17 March 2002
John Cameron Mitchell gives the performance of his career by writing, directing and taking the title role in this moving, witty and always honest account of a man's struggle to find his own identity and his Other Half, believing that the discovery of the two will complete him.
Set in the present day, Hedwig and his band the Angry Inch travel across America shadowing the world tour of his one time lover-turned-rock star Tommy Gnosis. Playing at small venues, the tour provides the backdrop for Hedwig's touching and often bizarre account of his life, told primarily through song and dance, it is truely a spectacle not to be missed.
Churning out some of the best original songs ever written for film and the most outrageous costumes and make-up ever seen, Hedwig will make you laugh, cry and tap your toes to the beat.
on 10 April 2007
Cliche as it sounds, this film really did make me rethink my life. Even if it hadn't, though, it would still be one of the two or three greatest films that I have ever seen.
Everything about this film - the writing, the acting, the music (especially) - are pitch-perfect. The only possible criticism is that it's too short - all of the deleted scenes in the DVD extras should still be in the film as they're all funnier than the entire content of the vast majority of 'comedies' that see cinema release.
This is a brilliantly funny and yet also very poignant story, as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. A true gem.
on 21 January 2002
3 in the morning, and the plane is half way between the USA and the UK. I'm tired, can't sleep, and I've chewed up and spat out the last of my nicorette gum.
Time to turn on the monitor stuck to the back of the seat in front and find out whatâ€™s on.
And there he (or she) is, a immaculately made up Farrah Fawcett look alike with â€˜drag queenâ€™ all but stenciled onto her face, perched over the stage like a huge vampire bat belting out rock songs about the East/West Berlin divideâ€¦did the stewardess slip something into my coffee?
10 minutes later my mild amusement has turned into unbelievable shock and laughter, as the lead song â€œAngry Inchâ€� rips into its full-blooded chorus. Iâ€™d love to tell you what its about, but I fear the censors would not let it pass. The audience in the diner that Hedwig plays to are more shocked than I, and it doesnâ€™t take long before they have stormed the stage and a full blown fight takes us to the next scene.
By the end of the film, Iâ€™ve fallen in love with at least half the songs, and Iâ€™ve decided that Iâ€™m buying the film as soon as Iâ€™ve landed. Of course, I hadnâ€™t reckoned on the delayed release here in the UK, and its only now (almost a year later) that I can finally buy a copy. But itâ€™s been worth it.
The DVD is packed with deleted scenes, a great commentary by the director and star (John Cameron Mitchell), and possibly the best, an hour and a half documentary on the becoming of Hedwig.
The film itself is absolutely mind blowing, with a great cast and those strange anomalies that you can only get from a film developed from a stage show (note that Hedwigâ€™s husband is being played by a woman â€" just to confuse you).
And even better, the soundtrack itself can be played in its entirety from the DVD, complete with lyrics at the bottom for your own private sing-along to the show.
All in all, this DVD is great value, with loads of interesting stuff to keep you going back to it. If you love this film, get this DVD.
on 30 June 2015
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is one of those films you'll have to watch again. Not only is the subject matter deeply thought-provoking, but the ending is one that will keep you thinking.
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch", based on an off-Broadway show (now a Broadway show) is not just a musical in the classic sense. There are songs, but these have been written by a rock group with a clear understanding of music, so it's not just a film for musical lovers, but a film that can be enjoyed by people who don't enjoy musicals but enjoy rock music. The songs aren't set pieces, but rather develop the story and show character and emotional state. They work as brilliantly standalone songs (listen to the off-Broadway cast album and see).
"Hedwig" features most of the original cast. John Cameron Mitchell manages a layered and deeply-moving performance as Hedwig, the East German transsexual who came to America in his search for his Other Half. Miriam Shor gives a poignant performance as Yitzhak, Hedwig's Croatian husband. The cast all give amazing performances, and a strong seam of humour runs under the film.
This film is about so much more than issues of sexual identity. This film covers love, loss, identity, sacrifice, and growth in a sensitive manner, and it is a perfect film to watch in a group and discuss.
on 9 January 2016
One of the most original modern musicals ever written.
This film is a true cult classic, standing firmly amongst the likes of the rocky horror show, hairspray, cry-baby,etc.
Well written, performed and directed.
Quirky and thought evoking.
Tongue in cheek funny, yet maudlin.
A true masterpiece.
on 27 May 2007
this movie is amazing, what a brilliant idea and john u make such a hot woman, well sept for the pit hair hehe. the songs in this film are so touching at time and u really feel for hedwig, i thing we just see drag queens as comical charaters but we need to realize there is a real person under all that make-up and bee hive wig. there people too
ALL CHEER THE DRAG QUEENS
John you rock, anybody that loves this film check out shortbus, but u will need an open mind and a strong stomach lol.