Kiss of the Spider Woman

kiss of the spider woman

Director: Hector Babenco CastWilliam Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, José Lewgoy, Milton Gonçalves, Míriam Pires, Nuno Leal Maia, Fernando Torres, Patricio Bisso, Herson Capri, Denise Dumont, Nildo Parente, Antônio Petrin, Wilson Grey, Miguel Falabella

Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role (William Hurt)

Also Nominated For: Best Picture; Best Director (Hector Babenco); Best Adapted Screenplay (Leonard Schrader)

I First Saw In: 2015

Synopsis: Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis, a trans individual, is found guilty of immoral behavior and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape reality Luis invents romantic movies, while Valentin tries to keep his mind on the situation he’s in. During the time they spend together, the two men come to understand and respect one another.

Did You Know? This was the first independent film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Quotables: LUIS MOLINA: Like a what? Say it: like a woman. What’s wrong with being a woman? Why do only women get to be sensitive? Why not a man, a dog, or a faggot? If more men “acted like women”, there wouldn’t be so much violence: like that.

And now a Word from the Guise:
For being a liberal, independent film, this is infuriatingly ignorant. It’s a prime example of why straight, cis people should not play gay and/or transgender characters. Rather than playing a trans woman, William Hurt clearly portrayed Luis Molina with a man’s perception of how women act: submissive, emotional, yearning to find a man, and to have that man govern her as head of the household. Much of its flagrant ignorance can be attributed to the time it was made. But 1985 really wasn’t that long ago, and though we’ve made strides in the way of LGBTQAI and women’s rights, we still have a very long way to go.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233