Stage Mother review – feelgood drag film falls flat | Film

Jacki Weaver’s Maybelline Metcalf is a tough Texan mama bear and director of her small-town church choir, a fine fit for the Australian actor’s natural matriarchal authority. “I don’t storm, I flounce,” Maybelline says. Her maternal instincts come to the fore when her estranged gay son dies suddenly and she ends up inheriting his failing San Francisco drag joint, taking his gang of misfit colleagues and friends under her wing.

Her waifs and strays include single mother Sienna (Lucy Lui), lip syncing drag queens Cherry Poppins (Tangerine’s Mya Taylor), Joan of Arkansas (Allister MacDonald) and Tequila Mockingbird (Oscar Moreno), who she coaxes into using their real voices, and her late son’s sceptical boyfriend (a bizarrely cast Adrian Grenier), who she wins over with her plans to revive the club. A further demonstration of “solidarity” sees her wearing a slash of glitter lipgloss and belting out Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart. Queer Canadian film-maker Thom Fitzgerald cheerfully attempts to bridge the gap between two disparate communities, but Maybelline’s swift acceptance of and affection towards her son’s chosen family suggests she didn’t have far to go in the first place. The feelgood tone feels a little flaccid.

Watch a trailer for Stage Mother

Source: The Guardian

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