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  • While the film itself certainly has it's shortcomings, Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance embodies the film's title. While a lesser actor would have taken the role of Rusty as a caricature of gay and transgender stereotypes, Hoffman performs the role with deep sensitivity and respect for the trials of someone living a misunderstood life. Robert De Niro is also believable as a gritty police officer recovering from a stroke.

    The most powerful thing about this film is that it doesn't gloss over stereotypes, but still makes the viewer feel compassion for both characters. Deniro's cop goes through a huge transformation from homophobe to someone who learns the value of people whom he may not fully understand, and does so with a delicate, nuanced touch.

    I love this movie, even if only for the scene with Hoffman talking to the Log Cabin Republican about their own bias against more flamboyant gays. It's powerful and true, and one of the only films to address the issue, even if only briefly.
  • I am sorry to say that I saw this movie for the first time today. You know they say hind sight is 20/20. I remember when the previews for the movie were out and I thought that looks like a really great movie. It was an incredible movie.

    De Niro is exceptional as the homophobic former hero cop with a speech impediment due to a stroke. Hoffman is wonderful as the singing drag queen. The chemistry between the characters is true to life and heartfelt. When they come together, we see that their dissimilar lives are not so dissimilar at all. They are both overcoming some of the same trials and tribulations just over different things. They develop an amazing bond that will help them through the tough times.

    A Flawlessly Beautiful Movie.
  • ‘Flawless' is an offbeat story about Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) an ex-cop who suffers a stroke and loses partial ability to speak. In an effort to regain some of his speech capabilities it is recommended to him that he take singing lessons. So he decides to ask his neighbor Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is a female impersonator, to give him singing lessons. This is an unlikely pairing because Walter is a belligerent homophobe.

    This film was written and directed by Joel Schumacher. His story, though peculiar, makes some powerful points. This is a story about hatred, bigotry and reconciliation. Walter learns through his disability who his friends really are, and who they are not. It seems that the people he hates treat him a lot better than the people he thought he loved. Ultimately, he is able to look past his prejudices to find the human elements that make him and Rusty not so different after all.

    This was an excellent character study of both main characters, giving a lot of insight into the motivations and lives of each. Unfortunately, the story meanders too often to irrelevant characters and scenes that don't really contribute much (like the Gay Republicans). Schumacher would have been better to concentrate on the relationship between Walter and Rusty rather than digressing so frequently into Rusty's relationships with his friends.

    De Niro was outstanding in this film. Not only was he excellent in the emotional portrayal of a man having to deal with a sudden debilitating stroke, but he was very realistic in his portrayal of the physical disability itself. The combination of his struggles to do the simplest of tasks and the obvious look of anguish and frustration on his face was poignant and affecting.

    Hoffman brought a lot of emotional energy to his part, and his imitation of a drag queen was passable, though somewhat forced and unnatural. Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who played Cha-Cha, the winner of the Flawless contest, was a much more convincing queen.

    I rated this film a 7/10. This is a good film that helps us understand that the remedy for the fear wrought of our differences is understanding, not hatred. In that respect it makes an important contribution. If cross dressing and blatantly gay themes put you off, perhaps you should defy your inclinations and see it.
  • Flawless is a film that is about performances from two fantastic leading men and no so much about the story or the plot itself. The movie is about an ex homophobic cop who suffers a stroke while trying to save a girl , who happens to be a friend of his gay transvestite neighbour , during a run in with some drug dealers. His doctor tells him the best way to improve his speech is to start singing lessons. He plucks up courage to ask his neigbour to teach him to sing. This film is about how the relationship grows between these two very different people and how they both work together to overcome their very different problems. De Niro is back to his best after some very average movies and the acting from Phillip Seymour Hoffman is just outstanding. I have seen Hoffman in other films such as Boogie Nights and Magnolia and was impressed then but this is his best to date. I love this film and i think you will to. Dont miss it.
  • I saw this film on a plane and thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the performance of Philip Seymour Hoffmann whom I found spectacular as a lonely, vulnerable, witty drag queen reaching out to recent stroke victim, homophobic DeNiro. The two of them were marvelous - and the end of the film had an outtake of Hoffmann and DeNiro practicing "The Name Game" that alone was worth the entire movie. There were certainly stereotypes among the minor characters but the plot was good and so was the acting. My acting teacher used to describe plays/films like "Virginia Wolff" as love stories. Using his criteria of two people coming together, sharing experiences and touching each other's hearts - Flawless certainly qualifies as an atypical love story.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Walt Koontz (Robert De Niro) is a highly honored retired policeman, living in a community with many gays. Rusty Zimmerman (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a drag queen, neighbor of Walt, who aims to make a surgery for changing his sex. One day, the money of a powerful boss of a gang in the neighborhood is stolen and the criminals chase the thief and kill his girlfriend and him in the building where Walt lives. Listening to the shots, Walt gets his gun and chases the murderers. However, he has a stroke and becomes half paralyzed. Along his treatment, his doctor suggests singing classes with Rusty to improve his speech. The initial lack of respect between Walt and Rusty becomes a friendship in the end of the story. Meanwhile, the bandits look for the missing stolen money. This movie was a great surprise for me: I did not expected much, since drama it is not the specialty of Joel Schumacher. But indeed it is a very good film, with a touching story. The dialogs between Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman are excellent. The story is about respect, specially for the minorities, showing that nobody is flawless. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): `Ninguém É Perfeito' (`Nobody is Perfect')
  • An unlikely bond is formed between a conservative, retired New York City cop who has suffered a stroke, and a drag queen, in `Flawless,' written and directed by Joel Schumacher. Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) is paralyzed on his right side, his speech is impaired and he can barely walk; to overcome his speech difficulties, he is encouraged by his doctor to try singing lessons, which in some cases like his have proved effective. Toward that end, he hires Rusty Zimmerman (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a neighbor in his apartment building, who performs at a local club in town. Formerly at odds with one another, the two form an alliance for their mutual benefit; Walter needs help, and Rusty needs the money. De Niro, as always, turns in an outstanding performance here, so physically convincing and shading Walter's disability with such finesse, that you forget that this is an actor playing a role. Such is the magic De Niro can weave on the screen. Hoffman, too, is excellent as Rusty, the tortured soul who wouldn't wish his life on anyone, and who can readily identify with Walter's newly acquired sense of isolation and helplessness. He understands self-pity and tries to help Walter get past his own. There is nuance to his performance through which he conveys so well Rusty's subtle anxieties and the feeling of rancor that surrounds him, and with which he must live every day of his life. Also notable in a supporting role is Skipp Sudduth as Walter's friend, Tommy, who must deal with his own confusion in dealing with Walter's situation, and the people with whom he now finds him involved. Previous to the stroke, drag queens were definitely not a part of their immediate circle of friends. The supporting cast includes Barry Miller (Leonard), Christopher Bauer (Jacko), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Tia) and Karina Arrovave (Amber). Schumacher has deftly crafted a character study that examines diversity and proffers the rewards of a symbiotic existence. The message here is that no one is flawless; we're imperfect creatures living together in an imperfect world, and if we can only get beyond ourselves and our prejudices, we just may find that gold at the end of the rainbow. `Flawless' is not without it's own flaws, either; some of the scenes involving the other drag queens and some of the criminal elements involved are somewhat overplayed at times, but that's a minor complaint. This film is deeply felt without being sentimental, and sheds some light on the human condition. It holds up a mirror to all of us, and asks the flawless among us to step forward. I rate this one 7/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Flawless with its amazing chemistry and pluperfect performances by Robert DeNiro and Philip Seymour Hoffman is a very funny film which flows effortlessly into some dramatic moments. But very few want to talk about the social implications of it.

    Philip Seymour Hoffman is a female impersonator who lives in the same apartment building as Robert DeNiro, a retired policeman who works as a security guard. During a robbery of a drug dealer, one of Hoffman's fellow drag performers is killed and DeNiro suffers a stroke trying to prevent the crime. The drug dealers can't exactly go to the police with their story, but they have other methods of dealing with transgressors.

    DeNiro and Hoffman have nothing in common at all and usually confine any conversations they have with some usual shouted epithets. But DeNiro's doctor advises singing lessons as a form of speech therapy and he goes to Hoffman. They develop an unusual friendship.

    More unusual because it turns out that Hoffman has the stolen loot. And why Hoffman is keeping it is a matter of life and quality thereof.

    Hoffman is not dressing in drag for effect or to make money as a performer. Hoffman's real drag is the body parts God gave him because they don't match what's inside. Hoffman is a transgendered soul and the cost of a sex change operation is more than he could earn in a few lifetimes.

    Here in America our insurance companies amazingly regard a sex change as cosmetic surgery. Scary idea, but true. Recently I had some talks with a transgender person from the United Kingdom. There the debate is whether their socialized medicine system should be paying for the sex change. Either way it is frightening situation that Hoffman is put in with all that cash suddenly in his possession and the chance of matching heart and soul to body can be realized.

    Especially after just winning an Oscar for Capote, Philip Seymour Hoffman isn't worried about getting cast in gay roles. From the lovestruck Scotty G in Boogie Nights, to Flawless, and now to Capote, Hoffman's making one great career for himself going gay. But all three of those parts show an astonishing range and a courageous player willing to accept and master challenging roles.

    Of course Robert DeNiro is great, he's never anything else. And he's back in the world of lower Manhattan that he knows so well. His character turns out to be a person of great character and more than just physical strength.

    Flawless is a film that will make you laugh and cry, but even more important will make you think.
  • FLAWLESS / (1999) **1/2 (out of four)

    By Blake French:

    Somewhere in "Flawless" there is a very good movie, but it is shuttered by the awkwardness of a jumbled plot. There are two separate stories here, and although they are interrelated, either one by itself would be enough for a whole movie. Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman make a chemistry-rich pair, both entertaining and amusing, and their screen presence is deserving of a lot of attention-it is tragic that not one but two different stories get in the way of their electric charisma together.

    The first storyline details a homophobic former New York City security officer named Walt Koontz (Robert De Niro) who, at the beginning of the movie, has a stroke while rushing to a nearby crime scene. He is burdened with partial paralysis on the right side of his body and speech problems, which can be overcome with the help of his neighbor, Rusty Zimmerman (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a flamboyantly gay drag queen who often practices his musically vocal abilities with fellow friends in drag. Walt's physical therapist recommends singing lessons from Rusty.

    The other story involves a criminal named Mr. Z and his attempts to find the incompetent people who stole a large sum of cash belonging to him. As Walt'z recovery continues, and the relationship between him and Rusty becomes more stable, various characters must react to the danger of Mr. Z and his clan of criminals.

    What makes this movie so amusing is the interesting personality clash between the characters of Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I just wish De Niro's character was more active; for much of the production he is nothing but a metronome who is unable to speak or even move much. Some of the elements involving the gay drag queens are hilarious and contribute to the movie's effective mood, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is so deliciously clever as Rusty that I would nominate his performance for an Oscar almost immediately. The dialogue is witty and intelligent ("I need some butch faggots over here."), taking advantage of the situations applicable and giving the movie a surprising emotionally gentle side.

    Not much else of "Flawless" is gentle, though. The overwhelming majority of the movie is gritty, rough material intended for adult audiences only. The vulgarism and profanity seemingly never stop and the coarse atmosphere is prevalent. The film is shot in a grainy, high-contrast style, with excellent cinematography and mood development. None of this shocks us, however, since the film's director, Joel Schumacher, was behind such perverse movies like "A Time To Kill," "8MM," and "Tigerland."

    "Flawless" has a lot of decent material but it just does not fit together because of the plot distractions. Too much plot has never really been an issue for Joel Schumacher; in "A Time to Kill" and "8MM" he found focus with a central character, here he finds likable traits in two main characters, but allows the plot to control their inspirational qualities. If Schumacher were to reexamine this script with a different perspective, perhaps cutting the Mr. Z plot entirely, maybe it would work more effectively. As it currently stands, "Flawless" is a movie in which the actors work hard to overcome a plot heavy script and they do reign victorious in a few battles, but eventually lose the war.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film is about a bunch of strange characters living at and about a rundown hotel in NYC. Many of them are "drag queens" and they are having their annual contest for the "Flawless" female impersonator, thus the name of the movie.

    Walt (Robert De Niro) is a retired, decorated cop who has a mild stroke while responding to a disturbance in the hotel. As therapy he is advised to take singing lessons from Rusty (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Their relationship as neighbors goes from antagonism to mutual respect by the end of the film. Money and crooks are involved, and Rusty wants to get enough money to have his operations and drug therapy to become the real woman that is inside him.

    Some of the film is funny, some of it too "over the top" with the drag queens. It moves slowly in places, in others there are both good guys and bad guys shot and killed. While I enjoyed the viewing experience for its novelty, I probably would not recommend it to friends. I give it a rating of 7 mainly on the good acting of De Niro, and the superb acting of Hoffman as the drag queen. We saw him in "Almost Famous" recently plus "Magnolia" and "Talented Mr Ripley" and he is without a doubt one of the finest actors working today.

    I saw the DVD and while it is fine, it is nothing extraordinary. And, there are no extras at all, which is disappointing. I'm sure there at least could have been some very funny deleted scenes.
  • Flawless is the best movie Schumacher has ever done, when i first heard the plot, and the the bad reviews this movie got, i thought it was going to be a bad movie... anyways i saw it just because I'm a big fan of Mr.DeNiro, and believe me folks, this is a really good movie... with flawless performances... Robert DeNiro as a cop who had a stroke and couldn't move half of his body... well done... and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a transvestite who gave DeNiro singing lessons so he could recover himself of the stroke... this was also a great performance... i mean he could get to Mr.DeNiro's acting level in this film... this boy has a big future... he has already co-stared movies with actors like of course Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino (Scent of a woman), Tom Cruise (Magnolia) etc... of course this is his best performance... and yet the academy did not even nominate them for the academy award nor the film nor DeNiro or Hoffman... anyways... this is a two hour worthy movie... with a good plot, good sense of humor and flawless performances... so don't get yourself lead by others reviews and see it... you'll enjoy it. my rating 9/10.
  • I will start by saying RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman - his acting talents were magnificent and we truly lost a special person. Every one of his films is acted with passion and dedication and "Flawless" is no different. He is special in this and his portrayal of the fierce drag queen is tender and heartfelt whilst also being fierce and powerful. Robert De Niro is of course brilliant in his role and really did an incredible job playing a stroke survivor - that is no easy feat and he has put his all in to every movement and every word spoken. This film should be watched for the acting talent and energy of these two actors alone as well as the character study of two very interesting people who find themselves with unique challenges to face in life. The cinematography is not top notch (the film was made in '99 so it does have a rustic quality) but it's perfectly fine. The focus here is on the characters, colourful and frantically trying to find connections in a difficult world. They are flawed in some ways through sheer stubborness or quick tempers but they aren't all that different when it comes down to it - they are both flawed in similar ways and maybe that's why their friendship works. It doesn't feel forced - it grows naturally and their chemistry is on fire. I loved this film - it depicts the world of drag queens wonderfully and the difficulties members of the LGBT community faced in the 90's. For the time it was made I applaud it - it hasn't tried to sugar coat anything and it has thrust us in to a layered and colourful and magical environment.

    Loved it loved it loved it .

    It's on Netflix UK right now so watch it.
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman is good (if one-note) as a drag queen in New York City who makes nice with the neighbor he hates: security officer and now stroke-victim Robert De Niro. The antagonistic relationship between the two might've used a bit of smoothing over (occasionally it feels like they're winging it, and De Niro's speech impediment tends to vary), but with two terrific actors running the scenes, there are compensations. De Niro himself looks fantastic, and he doesn't try to command the picture or any of his scenes with Hoffman; he's such a team player that you automatically respond to him. A drug-czar subplot is old hat, and the dancehall girl-with-the-heart-of-gold stuff is an obvious cliché (it's all been done before). But the real problem with the movie is that times have changed and perceptions are different, and not all gays are drag queens and not all drag queens want to have sex-change operations (it's such a moldy myth that one wonders if writer-director Joel Schumacher is totally out of touch and actually believes the stereotype?). The continual foul language is a strain to listen to, but the growing camaraderie between the two leads proves to have some interesting give-and-take. **1/2 from ****
  • This movie was fantastic. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was brilliant and deserved more acclaim and Robert De Niro was the perfect foil. Where else can you get two great actors in almost every scene and doing the brilliant work we know they can. I am a film buff and very snobby, to be honest. High Praise from me :) I watch films constantly and this one was riveting and brilliant from the first scene... That they did it on a $15 Mil budget with two A list actors is a testament to the actors' faith in the film (Hoffman and De Niro) and their own ability to carry it with magical chemistry grumpy or kind on screen. By the time it was finished I was shaking my head: how did I miss this film? Oh yeah, that was the year I had my first child. So home sick today, perusing films on our local cable service and next thing I knew--my casual "what's that about" became the reason I could not leave the couch to answer the phone :)
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman (PSH) and De Niro give truly great performances in this movie. The movie is a comedy-drama-crime flick, because nowadays nothing is just one genre. Among the great lines: "There's no romance without finance" by Rusty the drag queen, sorry female impressionist. I'd say IMDb's 6.2 average rating is seriously low. I give this movie a 9. It's about difficult, ornery human beings, dealing with tough lives. Hail to movies that are more about human stories and great scripts, rather than all mindless action and computer graphics. You should watch this movie! It deals with drag queens, stroke victims, cops, gay people, lonely Latin gals, and tango lovers with great sensitivity. It emphasizes the fragility, persistence and dignity of human beings. The anger, joy, and love of music of PSH's character is really inspiring.
  • At one time in our lives we have asked ourself, "Who else would I want to be if not me?" Usually the stock line of careers or occupations dominate one's daydreams in answering this question. Curiously, this film does not go in this easy direction. Rather the main characters, Walt and Rusty, as well as the supporting players are seeking more profound answers to this common query.

    From Walt and Rusty to ChaCha and Carmine the pizza guy, we see people living each day in pursuit of the existence that fits them best. For outward appearances and in his surroundings, Walt appears to be the most together character in the film. But is he? His life is definitely flawed as he has no meaningful contact with another person other than his poker and beer buddies. He seeks a hollow substitution in the dance hall escort he tangos with (she is no 'Sweet Charity'!). However Walt is not a hopelessly flawed person which he heroically demonstrates on the night of his stroke as he attempts to assist an unknown neighbor. We feel sympathy and to a degree empathy for Walt's plight as discarded husband and emotionally lost loner.

    Next comes Rusty. From all external appearances, Rusty's difficulties with life are visibly apparent. However if one stops there with Rusty, they miss the real story of his flawed existence. Philip Seymour Hoffman steals this film as the female impersonator with wit and a sharp eye for seeing the needs of others. But even though Rusty wrestles with his soon-to-be trans gender journey, he is open and frank about his inner demons which define and offer an explanation of his gender identity crisis. In the end, Rusty genuinely connects with Walt because he senses and feels isolation from family and others just as Walt does. We see that Rusty's caring nature is genuine and limitless as he uses his 'operation' money to pay for Walt's treatment after being shot during the film's final scenes. Hoffman truly takes a character that easily could have been portrayed and seen as a one dimensional caricature and turns Rusty into a flawed but three dimensional person of complex needs and inner strength.

    Flawless is not the human condition. Rather, recognizing our flaws and working to change or improve one's life situation becomes the true test of an individual's worth. The 'flawless contest' in the film serves as a microcosm of people's pursuit of perfection in in imperfect world.

    Surely Rusty and Walt exhibit an inner strength as they find in each other that they have more in common than not. And more than each one could ever have imagined!
  • gsygsy1 February 2006
    Unredeemed, unredeemable, unenjoyable, end-to-end garbage. PResumably Hoffman thought he was giving of his best. De Niro's performance as a stroke victim is not convincing. Madhur Jaffrey - what was she wasting her time on this for? Maybe she helped out catering for the shoot. Couple of laughs in the script, little islands in a sea of dross. Very similar premise to AS GOOD AS IT GETS on one level, in that grouchy straight guy gets to depend on and learns to love gay neighbour. AS GOOD is altogether better, though in these post-BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN days, this kind of patronising rubbish can be enthusiastically thrown on out with the trash.
  • meeza26 September 2000
    This one definitely did not live up to its name! I did find a few flaws in Joel Schumacher's latest film `Flawless.' The movie's plot is about a homophobic police officer who suffers a stroke, and later turns to a neighboring cross-dresser for speech therapy. Unfortunately, Schumacher's way-too-lengthy direction and mundane screenplay made `Flawless' an almost `unjoelful ' event. And that is a tragedy because we know that all Joel's events are joyful don't we? Anyways, the flawless feature of the film was the superb acting of Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the crossdresser and Robert Deniro as the hompophobic cop. But that is somewhat expected from these flawless performers. Despite this, `Flawless' is still a flick that you should definitely not flaw into. ** Needs Improvement
  • "Flawless" was released in the USA in 1999. It's been out in England since November, but most English readers probably won't have heard of it. It's a buddy movie about a drag queen and a homophobic security guard who suffers a near-paralysing stroke. It's written in the style of a GCSE drama piece and directed by Joel Shumacher, he of "Batman And Robin" fame. Not exactly a mouthwatering prospect, you say? Perhaps you are wondering why it got a release at all. Well, because it stars Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and they are two of the finest actors working in film today.

    De Niro plays Walt Koontz (we know he's the security guard because he has a mantelpiece full of trophies, plays cards and eats donuts). Hoffman is Rusty Zimmerman, who lives next door (he's the drag queen, obviously, because he's brash, claps his hands excitedly and says things like: `Well, life's a bitch, so I became one, honey!'). After his stroke, Koontz has to side step his ultra-conservative beliefs and take singing lessons with Rusty as part of his speech therapy. Cue some touching odd-couple moments around the piano and the gradual realisation for Koontz that - shock! - those crazy homos really aren't so bad after all.

    De Niro played a comparable role to better effect in "Awakenings", and Hoffman is not as impressive as he was in "Happiness" or "Boogie Nights", but the two leads are generally convincing, and enjoy some inevitably fantastic moments. The chemistry between the two, however, which must be tight to drive an essentially theatrical movie like this, is distinctly lacking. A European filmmaker with a greater grasp of subtlety would give the characters more time to breathe (Almodovar's "All About My Mother" trod similar territory with electrifying results), but Schumacher's dire script insults the audience by assuming that the story needs constant emotional crisis to hold the attention. And so we are provided with deaths, gunfights, parties, and tragic telephone calls: all of which are contrived, plot-driven devices, which demean the relationship between the two central characters to the kind of schmaltzy emotional pornography which usually involves Robin Williams (the script stops just short of including an AIDS death, or a speech explaining Koontz' hatred of homosexuals, although one can be certain it would have had something to do with an abusive father).

    The treatment of the gay men in the movie, though stereotypical, does not pander entirely to the expectation of a straight audience, as one might accuse Hollywood product like "The Birdcage" of doing. And, as director, Schumacher is reasonably accomplished and has, thank heavens, suppressed his previously flamboyant tendency and instead developed the gritty style he established well in "8mm". Like Curtis Hanson's recently released "Wonder Boys", the general style (and the casting of Hoffman) suggests he has been paying heed to independent cinema and that can be no bad thing. But his frequent use of handheld camera fulfils no function whatever, and his neon lighting and clichéd gangster scenes (mostly of the `Gimme back my muthafu***n money, bitch' variety) more resemble a Tarantino pastiche than a distinctive voice of his own. Add into the mix two entirely irrelevant subplots and an overwhelming weight of tragic over the comic, and you are left with a movie that, despite some good performances, is anything but flawless.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Walt Koontz, a homophobic guy, ends up with paralyzed vocal cords because of an unfortunate stroke.

    His therapy includes receiving singing lessons from a neighbour who is not only openly flamboyant but also a pre-op transgenderist.

    Both of them are equally prejudiced; Koontz against homosexuals and the neighbour against close-minded straight people...

    Also in a film like this, there has to be a sub plot about stolen money, because a sick homophobe and a drag queen bonding story just isn't enough is it?

    With Schumacher at the helm I was expecting a lot of neon and spandex thanks to a certain franchise, but this is the auteur who knows how to make a good movie and involve character arcs, rather than bowing down for the studio.

    Hoffman has never been better as the tortured queen who is desperate for better things, his performance is both moving, funny and sad, and unfortunately for De Niro rules the movie.

    But De Niro is fantastic playing someone affected by a CVA. His mannerism and gait are perfect, and some have said that he is doing his job half as$ed in this.

    That's their opinion, but I think it's his best performance since 'Heat'.

    The crime part of the film is where it fails.

    It has no real need to be in this sort of movie, and the final fifteen minutes of the film are just unnecessary for the two to bond a little more.

    It's not for every body, but it works and the performance of the two leads drag it up from the dull film it could have been..
  • An interesting film that seems to be about two completely different people helping each other. That is well and good. On the other hand I think the chances of something like what takes place in this movie happening in real life are in the negative integer zone. Furthermore I think the film fosters myths about things related to the world of transsexualism re some very high costs being quoted by the films wanna be trans character related to what sex change stuff costs. I think that would tend to create the idea that anyone wishing to undergo some kind of a transsexual process either has to be loaded with money or prepared to take-a big bunch of money from somewhere, (see crime) which does nothing to promote understanding of the real issue-which is generally not a mega buck affair-and by the way-it is often a complete disaster, due to drug reactions, which are not accounted for in drug descriptions related to the subject. That would be a problem. I found it a bit hard to watch in places as the actor playing a wanna be trans isn't a wanna be trans. Call me stupid but there are plenty out there. Fairly forgettable performance by Robert De Niro, falling far short of his films like 'Goodfellas' or even '15 Minutes'.
  • s26444516 July 2009
    The movie moved very well, not to slow but not too quick, and included all that need to be said in the 2 hours without going overboard and too dramatic. The dialoque in the movie was great with quotes like "Mr. My Left Foot" and "Here Comes American's Least Wanted". And plus the acting was great. Robert De Niro was great as usual and Philip Seymour Hoffman showed why he is one of the most underrated actors ever. I gave this movie a 7 because of what I mentioned above. The movie was pretty generic though, denying it a rating of something higher then a 7, and despite the fact I said it moved pretty well, there were a couple of slow spots that took place. So overall, it was entertaining, not completely flawless but will watch again, if asked about it I will make good remarks about it, but not quite good enough to recommend it to someone else as a must see.
  • Robert DiNiro is excellent and Phillip Seymour Hoffman totally brilliant in this film. But the best thing about this movie is its lesson of tolerance and acceptance.

    There's a wide gulf between a disillusioned, narrow-minded former security guard with a disabling stroke and a flaming drag queen whose loneliness lurks just below the surface.

    One common thread is that it takes exceptional acting to remain convincingly in character and both DiNiro and Hoffman pull it off with ease. PSH is particularly compelling. Someday he may wind up with as many Oscar nominations as Merryl.

    Another common thread is that -- well, no spoilers here, but it's no surprise that these two lonely people have far more in common than the mutual antipathy with which they begin the movie.

    Ulimately, this well-constructed movie is about learning tolerance -- not just between two individuals but among their "crowds," as events and life take precedence over stereotyped bigotry.

    This movie is a warm winner - 8 1/2 stars.
  • Is there NOTHING DeNiro CAN'T do? Not to mention Phillip Seymour Hoffman!! Robert has been in my Top 10 List of Actors for many years, and now Phillip is climbing to be right at #10.

    This movie sure pulls at the heart strings, and for me being a Gay man who's grown up with similar figures in his life, I can't help but love and feel warmed by the way these people handle the "Lot In Life" they've been given. "Happiness is but a choice away." These characters show us how their choices were experienced, and hopefully it will help many others in their current choices.

    Thank you, Robert! Thank you, Phillip! for giving us such great entertainment, and maybe a lesson or two along the way. :-)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There is no greater actor working today than Philip Seymour Hoffmann and now he has won the Oscar for "Capote" maybe the rest of the world will acknowledge the fact. That he wasn't nominated for "Flawless" will always remain one of the great mysteries of the movies. He's a New York drag queen teaching stroke victim Robert De Niro speech therapy and his performance is a life-lesson in the art of acting. He raises what would otherwise be an enjoyable. if minor, tale of a mismatched friendship into something close to essential. De Niro, too, is superb. I have always felt that playing someone with a disability is prone to Ham-a-Lot but De Niro is far too good an actor for that.

    It is a very likable movie but it is also very sentimental. De Niro is miraculously cured of his homophobia when he has a stroke while the drag queen are all just a bunch of pussycats. There is a sub-plot about some stolen money that turns the latter part of the film into something of a thriller, though not a very convincing one. There is no sense of danger; you know things are going to end happily. Schumacher is far from being a great director but he does make very good genre pictures.
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