Shakespeare in Love (1998); Boys Dont Cry (1999) Its interesting that, two years in a row, actresses won Oscars top prize for disguising themselves as boys. In the romantic comedy Shakespeare, Paltrow plays a noblewoman named Viola who becomes Shakespeares muse for his play Romeo and Juliet. Because no women can appear on stage, she disguises herself as a boy to audition to play Juliet. Joseph Fiennes Bard takes great glee in unwrapping Vioilas binding around her breasts, revealing that Viola is indeed all woman. Swank also shows her breasts and a bit more in her galvanizing performance in the true story of Teena Brandon, a young woman who decides to live her life as a man. There is a harrowing scene near the films conclusion where Brandon is raped and murdered by his male friends after his true sexual identity is discovered. Because of the graphic rape scene, the film was originally rated NC-17 but was toned down for its U.S. release.
Laurie Sparham / Miramax Films and Bill Matlock / Fox Searchlight