Two days ago National Review critic Armond White posted a roster of performances of gay characters that he admires but which the Academy overlooked. He calls them “the Brandos” in honor of Marlon Brando‘s brave but discomforting-to-watch performance as a closeted military officer in John Huston‘s Reflections in a Golden Eye (’67). “Through imagination, compassion and talent, [these performances] validate gay people’s humanity,” he writes. I respect the choices except for Toby Jones‘ performance as Truman Capote in Infamous (’06), And I especially admire Tony Perkins‘ B.Z., a gay Hollywood producer with a kind heart and a flip attitude, in Frank Perry‘s Plays It As It Lays. I’ve long felt it’s the finest performance of his life.
Here’s a longish piece I wrote about Play It As It Lays 12 years ago. Never on DVD or Bluray, and you still can’t stream it on Amazon, Vudu, Netflix or anywhere else. But last month a guy named “Zardon M” posted the entire 98-minute film on YouTube, recorded off the Sundance Channel which mysteriously aired the film a few years back. If you’ve never seen it, here’s your chance. It’s posted after the jump.