A highlight from Everybody's Talking About Jamie


Member fdic joining me from his home in new york is culture critic and reporter mark blankenship he is also the co author of the book. Madonna a to z. Welcome back mark. Hello glen. It's great to be back. That's always great to have you everybody's talking about jamie doesn't have your typical splashy sud z. Musical pedigree. it's an adaptation of a successful west end production. Yes but that show was in turn. Based on a british tv documentary about a sixteen year old drag queen in sheffield england. Young jamie is played by a very charismatic. Max harwood and dreams of becoming a drag queen in this. He is supported. Completely by his mother played by. Sarah lancashire his best friend pretty played by lauren patel and his aforementioned drag mother look ocean l. played by grant his path to freedom and self expression is iraqi one of course blocked by his homophobic father. Played by ralph eisenson and by homophobic bullying played by samuel bottomley. The great sharon horgan is also on hand has jamie's teacher. She sorta splitting the difference for most of the film. It's directed by jonathan butter all who also directed the theatrical production. The book and lyrics for that musical by tom mcrae with music by dan. Gillespie sells the movie is in theaters and is also streaming on amazon prime. So mark will you be a member of the cohort of those who are we are reliably informed talking about jamie. Well yeah yes. I will be happy to talk about jamie lynn. Perhaps i want to talk about jamie less than every other person who seems to know jamie because they seem to only talk about you. But i'm not sorry to have met jamie and i'm happy that i saw jamie both onstage a few years ago and in this film no i get it i get it. Because they're certainly are two threads going on in this thing throughout there is the jamie your jammy. You're strong. don't let anybody put you down jamie. You're a fierce and fabulous magical unicorn person jamie and that is the familiar threat in queer coming of age coming out stories and look at. There's a very good and affirming and not to put too fine a point on it potentially life-saving reason for that which kids under threat to hear that they're valued in this time. It comes with richard richard e grant as his drag mother. What's going to be wrong with that. But there's another threat in here. That i find a lot more intriguing. Because it's such a difficult thing to navigate and keep your audience on your protagonist side and that once jamie tries drag. He becomes convinced he's better than everyone around him. Nuts different not even special but definitely better which is the sentiment of this fantastic opening number aware. Everyone around him is his backup dancer. And he's the star to the province show over the course of the film he internalizes that sentiment at the top. It's kinda played like a joke but here over the course of the film he really does internalize it. That's something you have to deal with in the movie and when you try to do it with just nothing. But a one dimensional bully you get something real but it flattens everything. It's too heavy handed. Which is why for me. Anyway when you place sharon horgan in the middle of this film as the voice of. I don't wanna say reason. But certainly practicality she pushes back against jaime self-centeredness and i think you deliver something. That's a lot more suited to the intimacy of film and television. As opposed to what i would imagine would be the plate of the balcony impulsive musical theater where the character i think would probably be larger that fair to say i feel like that. In the best of my recollection. Sharon horgan has found a much more subtle way of creating this teacher's presence in the story because on on the west as i recall she was very much a. I don't know if you're familiar with the character of miss honey in the musical version of mathilde buzzard. It's just the idea of the teacher who just wants everyone to be happy and is pushing back but is also trying to uplift. Everyone and sharon horgan. I don't think is capable of doing these sort of sticky sweet sentimentality that you might have found in the west in version of this show with regard to this character. And i think that it's great to hear you refer to her as the voice of practicality because even though by the end of the movie i feel like she kind of slides into being a guardian of middle class respectability for like one or two scenes for the most part. She is the voice in this story. that is saying. Hey just because you're most elaborate. Dreams aren't always going to come true. That doesn't mean that your life is going to be meaningless. And you deserve to have things to look forward to. Even if you're not gonna become a football star or a pop singer or a drag queen and it's kind of a refreshingly unexpected perspective to get an a movie like this where typically. The story is just dream. And you'll become at right. And i should say i am coming to this completely. Fresh haven't heard the cast album didn't see the west end production. But i don't know i think about the sharon horgan character light because in the script she does a lot of stuff that are the hallmarks of a village as a kid a leaflet to work in a meat rendering plant chains jamie literally shames jamie by making him walk and make up through the school and then she refuses to let them come to prominent address in the theater that reads is code for villain a one who has the potential for a change of heart at the end. Because let's face it. That's what this is but maybe it's my age Or maybe it's just horgan's performance. But i kept thinking. Listen to her. she's got a point. I mean the idea is to locate yourself in society not reject society outright. There is a new song introduced here. That wasn't in the west end production. It is sung by richard e grant. And you have some thoughts about that saw yes. I'm so glad that you mentioned this new song it's called. This was me which is not to be

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