(Originally written July 11, 2008)
This rock musical is a blast, characterized by attitude and a striking sense of poignancy. Who would have expected such a powerful story from a musical about a struggling transsexual rock star? This film tells the story of Hedwig, a former young man from East Berlin on a desperate search for her other half. The movie is driven by the memorable songs and visual experimentation, using fantastical sequences and even animation in refusal to rely on conventional storytelling. This love letter to glam rock looks past the glitz of the genre to examine the pain and emotion behind the music. This is one of the few inspired modern musical movies, original without being overtly obnoxious (looking at you Moulin Rouge) and full of an energy rarely seen in movies. What makes this movie really work is the captivating performance of director John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig. Mitchell seems to have so much fun with the character, making Hedwig sensual and charismatic and allowing us to build a connection with the otherwise outrageous character.