Julia Ormond's The Green Is a Human Movie, Not a Gay Movie

By , Columnist

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images North America

29th Annual Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: The Green Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals

I adore Julia Ormond even more than I did a couple of days ago. I’ve always been a huge fan of her delicate yet powerful performances and Saturday night was no different. At the premiere of The Green (directed by Steven Williford, screenplay by Paul Marcarelli, produced by Williford, Marcarelli, and Molly Pearson) we see Ormond deliver a grounded, inspired performance. With little fuss over hair and make-up, staying true to her character, she is more beautiful than ever, resting comfortably in her skin and self.

The film also features Jason Butler Harner, Cheyenne Jackson, Illeana Douglas, and a host of truly wonderful actors, is expertly crafted and edited by Williford and editor Phillip J. Bartell, and is exquisitely shot by director of photography Ryan Samul.

The story gives us a teacher being accused of inappropriate behavior with one of his students.  The teacher happens to be gay and in a long-term relationship, making him even more vulnerable to being ostracized by the couple’s previously “tolerant” small Connecticut town. Julia Ormond plays a defense attorney who does her best to gracefully, yet passionately, deliver them from the evil coming at them from all angles.

The director and producers were committed to casting 'out' gay and lesbian actors for the gay and lesbian roles, but received no takers from a long list to fill the role Ormond ultimately played. Luckily, she wanted the role very much, and beautifully articulated her desire during the Q&A session after the opening night screening, “It’s a human movie, it’s not a gay movie.”  She is stymied by the rumor that the movie is being touted, albeit premiering at the Outfest Film Festival, as a gay movie.

Most recently, Ormond won an Emmy for her role in HBO’s Temple Grandin and next year you will see her as Superman’s mother in Man of Steel.  Ormond has been a bit of a superwoman herself as an impassioned advocate for the less fortunate, combating, among other things, human trafficking and raising AIDS awareness. 

Ormond relayed the story of being in a meeting regarding an AIDS organization, and being told in hushed tones, “That’s really a gay thing, you know.”  She was shocked by this narrow view of the disease and is driven to open people’s minds with films like The Green.

She states plainly, “Tolerating creates distance. We should be celebrating.” Ormond’s final challenge to the audience was, “Let’s get to celebrating each other.”

I challenge film distributors to take up the gauntlet Ms. Ormond has thrown, and stop pegging movies like The Green for only gay audiences. The circumstances of this film, a couple ostracized by a horrible misunderstanding and misrepresentation of facts, could happen to any of us.

Follow Ormond’s heart, and check out The Green at the film's official website.

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Bridget Fonger is the co-author of “The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Just About Everything,” a book that helps women become happier, more passionate and fulfilled by living the “Lazy Way,” aka with less stress and more joy! Ms. Fonger has been featured on HGTV several times with her home décor and…

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