Though the cross-gender roles in today’s movies are written by vagabonds, who believe lame sexual innuendos can make up for lack of creativity, we can look back at the independent features that intend on acknowledging audiences with the truth. As of now, there has been a massive change in the relevance of such roles, from existing for comical and dramatic effect till the 90s to revealing the atrocities faced by cross-dressers and sexually conflicted people. Now, I understand that some choices on the list might be controversial and I also assume that different sections may have varying opinions on them, but let me remind you the primary criteria is the effectiveness of the performances on a critical and emotional level. So here is the list of top cross gender performances:
10. Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)
‘Albert Nobbs’ is probably the least popular movie on this list, even though it features 5 time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close in a performance that is a very apt reflection of the society and its acceptance of women in Victorian Era Ireland. Albert Nobbs cross-dresses as a male butler in the most elegant hotel in Dublin. Nobbs doesn’t need to confront her sexual orientation and neither has doubts about it. She doesn’t indulge in romantic affiliations and dreams of being an independent person, a life route that is deemed inappropriate for women. Though her option is out of necessity, but unlike others on the list this necessity does suppress her desire to be able to express the person she truly is.
9. Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
The word “cult following” is thrown around a lot nowadays, with most movies that are panned by critics and preferred by a section of people being lazily termed so. ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ is a tribute to the sci-fi films of the 40s-50s with a huge dose of sexual innuendos and the then contemporary rock music. It initiated a stringent cult and eventually became the first midnight movie, a tradition that has been carried on by its fans for more than 40 years now. The movie has since enjoyed an iconic status and has had a massive effect on films,TV shows, music and the entertainment industry in general. It is a reimagination of Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ with Tim Curry playing Dr Frank N.Furter, a transvestite scientist from “Transsexual, Transylvania”. He is phenomenal in reprising the role he had played since 1973 in plays of the same name, and with a bigger stage to showcase his character’s absurdity Curry never feels uncomfortable in fishnet and flourishes in every frame.