Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is a unique blend of rock musical and dramatic narrative, telling the story of Hedwig Schmidt, a transgender punk rock singer from East Berlin. The film delves into themes of love, identity, and the search for one's other half.
Plot Summary (Spoiler Warning):
Born as Hansel in East Berlin, Hansel falls in love with an American G.I. and undergoes a botched gender reassignment surgery in order to marry him and flee to the West. The surgery leaves her with an "angry inch," leading her to adopt the name Hedwig.
After being abandoned by her husband in Kansas, Hedwig forms a rock band and mentors a young singer named Tommy Speck. Tommy steals her songs, becomes a rock sensation, and leaves Hedwig in obscurity.
The film follows Hedwig's journey as she tours the U.S., shadowing Tommy's tour, and reflects on her past through a series of emotionally charged rock songs. By the end, Hedwig undergoes a transformation, coming to terms with her identity and finding self-acceptance.
Cast and Crew
- John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig Schmidt: The film's protagonist, a transgender rock singer with a tumultuous past.
- Michael Pitt as Tommy Gnosis: A rock star who was once mentored by Hedwig and later betrays her.
- John Cameron Mitchell
- John Cameron Mitchell (book)
- Stephen Trask (music and lyrics)
Where to Stream
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Production Company: Killer Films
The movie was primarily shot in Ontario, Canada, though it represents various locations in the U.S., including Kansas and New York.
Budget and Box Office:
With an estimated budget of $6 million, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" garnered a box office return of approximately $3.6 million. While not a massive commercial success, the film has since gained a cult following and is celebrated for its unique storytelling and powerful musical numbers.
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" received widespread acclaim from critics for its originality, music, and John Cameron Mitchell's standout performance. The film holds a high rating on many review aggregation sites, with many critics highlighting its bold take on gender, identity, and love.
The movie has garnered a dedicated fanbase over the years. Fans often praise its emotional depth, catchy rock numbers, and the raw portrayal of Hedwig's journey of self-discovery. Many viewers have found solace in Hedwig's story, seeing it as a beacon for those struggling with their identity.
Awards and Nominations:
The film was honored with multiple awards and nominations. John Cameron Mitchell received accolades for his performance and direction, while Stephen Trask's music was also widely celebrated.
Among its many recognitions, the film won the Best Director and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy (John Cameron Mitchell).