Watch The Birdcage
- 1 hr 59 min
The Birdcage is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, and Gene Hackman. The movie is a remake of a 1978 French-Italian film called La Cage Aux Folles. The story centers around Armand Goldman (played by Robin Williams), who runs and owns a nightclub called The Birdcage. His partner is Albert Goldman (played by Nathan Lane), who performs at the club under the drag queen name of "Starina". Their peaceful existence is disrupted when Armand's son Val (played by Dan Futterman) announces that he is engaged to Barbara Keeley (played by Calista Flockhart), the daughter of an ultra-conservative senator named Kevin Keeley (played by Gene Hackman). When the senator and his wife, Louise (played by Dianne Wiest), come to town for the wedding, Val asks Armand and Albert to pose as a "normal" family, which means getting rid of all the feathers and sequins before the Keeleys arrive at their apartment.
The humor in The Birdcage comes from the clash of values between the Goldman-Keely family, and from the different personas that Armand, Albert, and their flamboyant friends adopt in order to fool the Keeleys. While Armand and Albert try to pass themselves off as an ordinary married couple (with Albert playing the traditional "wife" role), their friends come up with wilder and more outrageous cover stories, including one that involves pretending to be a conservative Republican senator from Ohio.
Despite the farcical premise, The Birdcage touches on serious issues such as homophobia, prejudice, and acceptance. There are also moments of tenderness and genuine emotion, especially between Armand and Albert, who have a complex and loving relationship despite their occasional bickering and disagreements.
The three main actors - Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, and Gene Hackman - give standout performances. Williams is in his element as the fast-talking, quick-witted Armand, while Lane steals many scenes with his over-the-top physical comedy and operatic singing. Hackman, known primarily for his dramatic roles, shows off his comedic chops as the uptight and clueless senator.
Ultimately, The Birdcage is a heartwarming and hilarious film that celebrates the diversity, resilience, and creativity of the LGBTQ+ community. It has become a beloved classic, inspiring countless drag performances, Halloween costumes, and quotes ("I pierced the toast!"). Its message of love and acceptance, delivered with a generous dose of laughter, is as relevant today as it was in 1996.
In conclusion, The Birdcage is a classic comedy that has stood the test of time. Its talented cast, hilarious script, and message of acceptance make it a must-see movie for fans of the genre.
The Birdcage is a 1996 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 59 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 72.