However, Peirce modified the script to fit her vision to focus on the relationship between Brandon and his year-old girlfriend Lana Tisdel, which Peirce termed a "great love story",   in contrast to All She Wanted , which did not place an emphasis on the relationship. Archived from the original on April 17, Boys Don't Cry , which dealt with controversial issues,  was initially assigned an NC rating but was later reclassified to an R rating. Although his assailants threaten Brandon and warn him not to report the attack to the police, Lana persuades him to do so. It was just weird. Sarsgaard was one of the first choices for the role.
Critics often praised the performances by Swank and Sevigny; Peter Travers said the pair "give performances that burn in the memory",  and The Film Stage termed Swank's performance "one of the greatest" Best Actress Oscar-winning performances. Lisa Henderson commented on the intersection between social class and gender in the film, particularly Brandon's working-class status: When I saw that, and her confidence and wit, I thought:
The men appear to have no homes, relationally or physically: John and Tom…are never shown preparing for masculinity.
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