Netflix The Boys in the Band (2020)

Jake Lipson

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Title: The Boys in the Band (2020)

Genre: Drama

Director: Joe Mantello

Cast: Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, Tuc Watkins

Release: 2020-09-30

Runtime: 121

Plot: At a birthday party in 1968 New York, a surprise guest and a drunken game leave seven gay friends reckoning with unspoken feelings and buried truths.

 

Jake Lipson

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Jake Lipson
Joe Mantello directed this new film adaptation of The Boys in the Band for Netflix. He reunited the complete cast of the Broadway production from 2018, which he also directed. Ryan Murphy is the producer as part of his mega-deal with Netflix. The release date is tomorrow, so it seemed time to create this thread.

I heard phenomenal things about the Broadway production but was unable to access it because I don't live in New York. So I am particularly grateful that they preserved it with the film adaptation. I'm decidedly not a fan of Jim Parsons and am one of the few who couldn't stand the Big Bang Theory. But I'm hoping to be surprised by him in this.

I'll know soon.
 
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Wayne_j

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And here I thought it was New Kids on the Block's recent song Boys In The Band.

 

JohnMor

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It was very good, but not great. The Friedkin film was much deeper and sharper, I thought. These performances, while enjoyable, felt more “surface” to me. Also, the film recreates many aspects of Friedkin’s version from the opening montage to many of the costume choices, which only serves to make the comparisons even more prominent. Mantello opens it up briefly a couple of times, whch I think is a mistake, partucularly the closing montage which adds nothing to the story and actually takes away the power and sadness of the ending. But then Parsons doesn’t have the gravitas to pull off the final scene like Kenneth Nelson did.
 
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GerardoHP

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I watched the 2020 version on Wednesday and the 1970 version on Thursday for comparison. The scripts are the same, perhaps to the word, which isn't surprising since Mart Crowley adapted both from his own play. I couldn't help comparing the acting and I found Kenneth Nelson's Michael to be much more subtle than Jim Parson's monotone performance. The rest of the cast, in both versions, are just excellent with Robin de Jesus again playing a much subtler Emory than Cliff Gorman without losing any of the character's punch. I personally didn't mind the brief opening up of certain scenes with some of the flashbacks providing some of the sexiness missing in the original movie. Overall, a big plus for the new production. I would hope everyone watching it understands the historical context in which the story takes place.
 

AlanP

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Saw this last summer on Broadway, and LOVED, LOVED it.
The set was very sixties modern and stunning. Watched the Netflix version this week and found the performances good, but they were not as dynamic as Broadway.

The set on Netflix was very dark and lacked the mod design that sparkled with lucite and great furniture on Broadway. While the Netflix set, had all the appeal of a thrift shop.
The original film I saw in the early eighties in a retro theater had a much more interesting set.
I found the latest version lost some of its appeal from Broadway to NETFLIX in performances to it's set design. This is the set from Broadway......
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