ABSTRACT

Theatrically released feature fi lms in the late 1990s proff ered a teasing taster of leading and supporting performances that together demonstrate how much things had-or had not-changed for both queer screen representation and acting at the end of the decade. Several movies introduced or featured niche stars in ensemble and/or supporting roles; a few featured A-list stars. 1999 was a banner year, with The Talented Mr. Ripley (Anthony Minghella), Flawless (Joel Schumacher), American Beauty (Sam Mendes), But, I’m a Cheerleader (Jamie Babbit), Election (Alexander Payne), Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze), Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce) and South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut (Trey Parker) all including openly queer characters. 1997 and 1998 fi lms also showcased queer characters. Among the more debated, “dissed” and/or noteworthy are: All Over Me (Alex Sichel, 1997), As Good As It Gets (James Brooks, 1997), In & Out (Frank Oz, 1997), Love! Valour! Compassion! (Joe Mantello, 1997), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (Clint Eastwood, 1997), Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon, 1998), High Art (Lisa Cholodenko, 1998), Happiness (Todd Soldondz, 1998), The Opposite of Sex (Don Roos, 1998), Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998) and Your Friends and Neighbors (Neil LaBute, 1998).1