“What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine;
what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine,” observed
Susan Sontag, who was both a little butch and a lot beautiful.
I remembered this quote today in part because I noticed that “Victor/Victoria,” starring Julie Andrews as the unemployed performer who finds a
work as a male drag queen, was on TCM tonight. And in part because the image it
conjured was watching “Taking Woodstock,” when in walked Vilma, a musclebound
blonde in a candy-pink dress, who resembled Mamie Van Doren with stubble. S/he
spoke in a familiar voice, like honey mixed with molten asphalt. Holy cow! Liev
Schreiber in drag?!? (In his first screen performance, “Mixed Nuts,” he was also
a cross-dresser.) In “Taking Woodstock,” I particularly liked the contrast of
pink frock and Deep Purple voice.
I’d nominate him for cinema’s genderbender Hall of Fame.
Already enshrined? Andrews’ Victor/Victoria, Greta Garbo’s Queen Christina, Katharine Hepburn’s Sylvia Scarlett, Doris Day’s Calamity Jane, Gwyneth Paltrow’s turn in “Shakespeare in Love” and Hilary Swank’s Brandon Teena in “Boys
Read the rest of this article here.