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‘A Good Man’ Faces Backlash for Casting Cis Woman in Lead

“A Good Man,” the newest movie from French filmmaker Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, is going through backlash on the Toronto International Film Festival for casting a cis actor in a transgender function. Based on true occasions, “A Good Man” stars Noemie Merlant as Benjamin, a trans man within the midst of his transition whereas working as a hospital nurse. He and his spouse, Aude, wish to have a baby, however Aude is barren. Despite having already accomplished his identify change and struggling for acceptance amongst his household and mates, Benjamin decides to bear the kid himself via in vitro fertilization, making his highway to discovering his new identification much more turbulent. While critics have praised the movie for its empathetic method, it has come underneath fireplace in LGBT circles as the newest instance of the movie trade not casting trans actors for trans roles. While there have been some notable exceptions, reminiscent of Daniela Vega within the Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman,” Hollywood stars like Eddie Redmayne, Jared Leto, Scarlett Johansson and most not too long ago Halle Berry have been criticized for taking trans roles.

In protection of Merlant’s casting, Mention-Scharr mentioned in this system notes for “A Good Man” on the Cannes Film Festival that there are few trans male actors in France and that she did solid Jonas Ben Ahmed, a trans actor, to play a cis male function within the movie. She additionally argued that cis actors can present sturdy depictions of the trans expertise, pointing to Hilary Swank’s Oscar-winning efficiency within the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.” “For me, it would be stupid, unfair and counter-productive to only give trans roles to trans actors and cis roles to cis actors,” Mention-Schaar mentioned. “Before his gender, his sexual identification, his pores and skin colour, an actor or an actress is above all an actor or actress. And I imagine the character that she or he embodies wants his method and his expertise.” But trans movie critic Danielle Solzman rejected this argument, telling TheWrap that she finds it “tiring and exhausting” to listen to that there aren’t sufficient trans actors to solid in a movie in regards to the trans expertise. She additionally lamented that it was Merlant who took the function of Benjamin, as she was praised final 12 months for her work within the LGBT interval romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” She inspired Mention-Schaar to look at “Disclosure,” a Netflix documentary on the historical past of trans depiction in popular culture whose filmmakers urged Berry to drop her plans to take a trans function.

“I’ll say the same thing now that I said in 2018 when ‘Girl’ was getting all the outrage: if you cannot find a transgender actor for the project, maybe you shouldn’t be going ahead!” Solzman mentioned. “I was watching ‘No Ordinary Man’ during my TIFF coverage and this film featured a beautiful display of trans-masculinity on screen.  The idea that filmmakers can’t find trans-masculine actors is complete BS.  It just proves to show that they aren’t looking hard enough.”

Bryan Glick, producer at The Film Collective, additionally criticized TIFF for together with the movie on its program. “They cannot claim to support my community while actively working to erase our own voice. Worse, they exploit my community in pursuit of prestige. Transface only serves to reinforce the idea that I and other trans and non-binary people are pretending,” they wrote on Facebook. “TIFF cannot claim to support inclusion when year after year they push transface from transphobic talent.”

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