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Boasting a tagline that reads, “How did they ever make a movie of ‘Lolita?,'” the film’s portrayal of love is just about as forbidden as it gets.To his surprise, he finds a former love suffering in confinement as a Bosniak prisoner.Ajla (Zana Marjanovic) is a sensitive young woman with envious resolve and self-assurance to spare.Played by a 14-year-old Sue Lyon, Lolita is a gum-chewing, soda pop-drinking, ticking time bomb set to blow the decidedly conventional life of James Mason’s Humbert right up.For all of its controversy, the film actually shies away from depicting anything too provocative due to severe censorship at the time.As real-life trans male Brandon Teena, Hilary Swank won the Oscar for Best Actress and gives an extraordinary performance thats puts the universality of human feelings above the restrictions of gender identity.
Similar to Todd Haynes’ “Carol,” Kimberly Peirce’s award-winning drama is a powerhouse look at sexual repression and passionate connection, made more tragic due to its devastating conclusion.
Many films that deal with forbidden queer romance tend to portray its characters’ homosexuality as the one obstacle standing in the way of their love, which becomes tired and tedious since gay couples have a lot more to deal with in their personal lives than just their sexuality.
Ennis and Jack do face bigotry and discrimination during their decades-long secret affair, but their love isn’t forbidden due solely to conservative values.
Both men must consider the well-being of their families, their own troubled pasts, their financial stability and any number of other concerns when deciding the future of their relationship.
This transforms what could have been another tragic gay love story into a careful and tear-jerking meditation on the sacrifices we make for love, as well as the ones we don’t.
Ralph Fiennes is Count Laszlo de Almasy, a mapmaker who is completely focused on his work and only his work.