- 2 hr 9 min
Stonewall is a 2015 historical drama film that tells the story of the Stonewall riots of 1969, which marked a turning point in the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States. Directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Jeremy Irvine, Jonny Beauchamp, and Joey King, the film depicts a group of young gay and transgender people who, fed up with the constant police harassment and societal discrimination, decide to fight back and claim their rights.
The film takes place in the summer of 1969, in Greenwich Village, New York. Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) is a young gay man from Indiana who comes to the city to escape his conservative family and find acceptance. He soon befriends a group of street kids, led by the flamboyant and outspoken Ray (Jonny Beauchamp), who take him under their wing and introduce him to the bohemian lifestyle of the Village.
However, life is not easy for the marginalized LGBTQ+ community in the Village. The police are constantly raiding the bars and clubs where they congregate, arresting people for cross-dressing, indecent exposure or simply being gay. Danny witnesses the violent and humiliating treatment of his friends by the police, who take pleasure in mistreating them and treating them as second-class citizens.
One night, after yet another police raid at the Stonewall Inn, the only gay bar in the neighborhood, Danny, Ray, and their friends are cornered by the police and forced to submit to a humiliating strip search. Fed up with the constant abuse, Ray starts a riot, throwing bricks and bottles at the cops, and soon the whole crowd joins in, turning the street into a battlefield.
The Stonewall riots lasted for several nights and marked a turning point in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, as the community started organizing and demanding their rights. The film portrays the bravery and sense of community of the young activists who took part in the riots, as well as the hypocrisy and double standards of the society they lived in.
The film also touches on other topics related to the LGBTQ+ community, such as the difficulties of coming out and finding love, the challenges faced by transgender people, and the intersectionality of different marginalized groups. Marsha P. Johnson (played by Otoja Abit), a transgender woman and activist who was present during the riots, is also portrayed as a key figure in the movement.
Despite its subject matter, Stonewall was criticized by some members of the LGBTQ+ community for its lack of diversity and historical accuracy. The film's portrayal of the riots was seen as whitewashed and erasing the contributions of people of color and transgender individuals. The decision to cast Jeremy Irvine, a straight actor, as Danny Winters, also drew criticism.
In conclusion, Stonewall is a powerful and moving film that depicts a key moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. Although it has its flaws, it is a valuable reminder of the struggles and sacrifices of the activists who paved the way for the progress made in recent decades. The performances of Jeremy Irvine, Jonny Beauchamp, and Joey King are excellent, and the film's message of unity and resistance is as relevant today as it was in 1969.
Stonewall is a 2015 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 9 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.3 and a MetaScore of 30.