Boys Don’t Cry

Birth of a star.

Hilary Swank had already top-lined The Next Karate Kid when she landed the lead in this heart-rending true-crime tale, but this was the first time the former Washington state resident had a chance to really show off her skills.

Playing Brandon Teena, a trans man fighting to survive in a world stacked against him, Swank is extraordinary.

She’s matched by Chloë Sevigny, as a young woman trapped between love and fear, and Peter Sarsgaard, channeling blank-faced evil.

It’s not an easy movie to watch, but it remains an important one, especially in our current environment.