#157 Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots (2005)

Dir: Julian Jarrold

Charlie and Lola! Well… not quite!

“Is there a niche market for built to last boots, for women… who are men?” This is the thing that reluctant and struggling shoe manufacturer Charlie (Joel Edgerton) finds himself wondering after an encounter with drag queen Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor). The two then join up to draw on each other’s experience and expertise in creating a line of women’s boots for drag artists, meeting with quite some reluctance and opposition along the way.

This film was adapted into a musical with songs by Cindi Lauper that hit Broadway in 2012, and instantly won 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical! The film seems to have been largely forgotten, it received mixed reviews on release, though it did get a Golden Globe nomination for Chiwetel.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (‘12 Years a Slave‘) is a very skilled and versatile actor who can apply himself to a wide variety of roles, this is just one of the examples of that. He’s now very much more well-known for his depiction of Solomon Northup, but personally I remember him best as the Operative in ‘Serenity’. Here he’s excellent, it can’t be an easy task to play a drag queen, Ejiofor doesn’t really seem naturally predisposed , yet he does to incredible effect and unsurprisingly takes focus for much of the film.

Joel Edgerton (‘The Great Gatsby’) is Charlie who is struggling to keep the family business afloat, and he’s very good, both as the struggling manager in the early part of  the film, and later on as he develops this unusual partnership with Lola, and also has to try to keep his personal life in order while the business difficulties steal all his attention.

There’s a small role for Nick Frost (‘The World’s End’) here too as one of the factory workers who doesn’t like Lola being there at all, but who may or may not experience a change of heart.

I don’t know what it’s like as a stage musical, but here as a British dramedy it’s surprisingly enjoyable, and great to see early roles for a three actors who have gone on to have great success in much higher-profile roles.

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One thought on “#157 Kinky Boots

  1. Pingback: Oscar Nominee: The Boxtrolls | tKnight Reviews

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