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The Birdcage

Come as you are. 

Year: 1996 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Mike Nichols 
Starring: Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane  
An image from The Birdcage

Yet another adaptation of a French movie, The Birdcage is a camp caper of Mrs Doubtfire proportions, with cross-dressing, mistaken identity, and guy/girl gags galore.

Armand (Williams) and long-time companion Albert (Lane) have a bit of a problem. They have to act straight when Armand’s son brings the parents of his fiancee home. Cue many “what it is to be a guy” scenarios as Armand attempts to masculinise his partner and remain sane while Albert delicately places his finger in the air whilst drinking and refuses to talk baseball without having an emotional breakdown. Problems arise when daddy (Hackman) turns out to be an extreme Right Winger and Albert decides to present himself as the mother of Armand’s son.

The Birdcage could easily have turned out to be nothing more than an extravagant showcase for Williams, but he is actually (and thankfully) quite restrained here. It is Lane who has all the fun as he camps it up with wicked finesse and minces with the best of ‘em. Nichols keeps as firm a rein on the proceedings as possible, but he obviously had as much fun as his cast and it is that sense of barely controlled hysteria that pervades just about every scene. Cliched? Sure. Meaningful messages? There are some in here. Great fun? You betcha!

D. Hicks.

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Screenings of this film:

1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)
1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)
1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)
1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)
1997/1998 Spring Term (35mm)
1997/1998 Spring Term (35mm)
2023/2024 Spring Term (35mm)