Movie Review: “Stonewall” disappoints on all levels

Movie Review: “Stonewall” disappoints on all levels

Colleen Kelly

Surprising no one, “Stonewall” is an embarrassment. Set is 1969, Danny Winters struggles with coming out to his conservative family and leaves Indiana for New York City. Slowly wading into the LGBTQ community in Greenwich Village, Danny becomes fed up with the discrimination and violence against those like himself. The subsequent violent protests and clashes with the police go down in history as the Stonewall Riots, the famed events which Pride Parade commemorates each year.

Let me just get this point out of the way: This film is in no way even remotely historically accurate. Where are the persons of color, the not-so-model-pretty transgender men and women? It is strongly believed that it was an African-American transgender woman that famously threw the first brick when the riots began, not our lead Danny. Why did this film feel like it had to focus on a handsome white boy from the Midwest to garner the audience’s interest? In the end, the cast was so incredibly whitewashed and superficial that it was insulting, and the film lost so much of its humanity.

Putting aside all of the atrocious historical inaccuracies, objectively speaking, this was still a terrible film. It felt more akin to a Lifetime TV movie rather than a big budget product of Hollywood. This goes for the poorly constructed sets that could not have looked more fake, the lazy costume choices and supremely untalented cast. The production value to this film was nearly nonexistent.

The writing itself was so cheesy, I swear I rolled my eyes at least twice at the cringe-inducing dialogue. And the sex scenes, oh my goodness. I cannot remember the last time I witnessed a scene in a movie both so thoroughly depressing and embarrassingly acted. Jeremy Irvine (Danny) was not the right choice for this movie. For a broke runaway, he always managed to look, like an extra in “Grease.” Even after having endured a beating from the police, he managed to walk away with perfect hair and a clean shirt. In what were supposed to be emotionally charged scenes of his character becoming more comfortable in his sexuality or confronting the police in the streets, his performance came off campy and detached, as if ignorant to the gravity of those situations. This was meant to be a coming of age story, but neither the story nor its lead character seemed to understand what it was trying to say.

The most frustrating aspect of “Stonewall” was realizing that multiple someones had to have come together in making this film and said, “This is the best we can do.” In this day and age, with how far our country has come in the past decade alone in terms of LGBTQ rights, was this honestly the best Hollywood could give us? That is just depressing.

Verdict: 1/5 stars