Southern Baptist Sissies (NR)

Drama 138 min. March 7, 2014
By Sherilyn Connelly
Del Shores's Southern Baptist Sissies is not so much a movie as it is a document of Shores's stage play of the same name. Not that it's trying to fool anyone into thinking it's an actual cinematic adaptation: The picture was shot on a stage in front of an audience that we see and hear -- and whom the performers occasionally interact with -- though there's also editing and close-ups and all those other devices that make a movie a movie. It's essentially the Great Performances approach, though PBS is (sadly) unlikely to show this great performance about four queer boys trying to come to terms with who they are in spite of their church's virulent homophobia. One tricky thing about turning plays into movies is often the length of the source material (there's a reason why the only film version of Hamlet to shoot the entire text of the play clocked in at four hours), and the 138-minute Southern Baptist Sissies might have benefited from some judicious editing. Of course, streamlining the narrative might have also resulted in losing some of the fun hangout scenes between older barflies Odette (Dale Dickey) and Peanut (Leslie Jordan), but killing your darlings is not for the faint of heart -- just like being a sissy.
Del Shores Emerson Collins, Leslie Jordan, Dale Dickey, Willam Belli, Luke Stratte-McClure Del Shores Beard Collins Shores Productions

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