Written by Ron Nyswaner and directed by Frank Pierson, Soldier’s Girl tell the true story of the tragic love between a young army recruit and a local transgender woman. Released in 2003 and staring Troy Garity as Barry Winchell (Bandits, Gangster Squad), Lee Pace as Calpernia Addams/Scottie (The Fall, Lincoln) and Andre Braugher (The Mist, City of Angels) starring as Sergeant Carlos Dias; Soldier’Girl brings out the romance, love and tragedy of forbidden love in our society today. Highlighting societies lack of acceptance and understanding of the transgender community; forcing caring, loving people to live their lives underground for fear of discovery and the consequences of such a forbidden love.
Troy Garrity brings Barry Winchell to life with all the skills of a master actor; exposing the characters heart and integrity for all to see. Barry is open and honest with his feelings right up until his tragic ending; punishment for loving the wrong person. Sawn Hatosy (The Faculty, Alpha Dog) delivers to use a brilliant rendition of Barry’s room-mate and the most staunch homophobe and transphobe to have ever graced the silver screen. Full of energy and intensity he drives the plot forward without apology as we careen towards the inevitable ending and see how much damage one person can do with their words of hatred and discrimination.
Lee Pace stars as Calpernia Addams/Scottie and offers us a glimpse of the thoughts, feelings and motivations of a transgender woman trying to find her place in the world. Part glamorous performer and part wounded puppy, Calpernia takes us along as she struggles to make ends meet in the trailer park in which she lives. Lee invokes Calpernia as if he were a transgender woman himself; rounding out the character fully and making us fond of, if not fall, for her. He succeeds in Bringing humanity and a shining a light to a type of people who are being mistreated, misjudged and ostracized just because they are transgender.
Andre Braugher performs admirably as the stoic Sergeant Carlos Dias, trying to make sense of the whole situation and yet having little or no affect whatsoever regardless of him being the commander of Barry’s unit. He shows us clearly how authority figures cannot address or even begin to understand the plight of the transgender person. His heart in the right place, like most (but not all) people in authority inevitably make the state of affairs worse; a situation akin to trying to get the teacher to help you when you are being harassed and bullied for being different.
Soldier’s Girl is a wonderful romp through the life and love of a transgender woman; searching for love and making a living the best way she can. Full of flair, wit and darkness; this movie is sure to entertain while teaching people about how transgender people are the same as everyone else. We love, cry, laugh and hurt just like everyone else on the entire planet and deserve our own space on the blue ball we call earth!