Bruno (2000 film)
The Dress Code VHS cover
|Directed by||Shirley MacLaine|
|Produced by||David Kirkpatrick|
|Written by||David Ciminello|
|Starring||Alex D. Linz
|Music by||Chris Boardman|
|Edited by||Bonnie Koehler|
|Distributed by||New Angel Films (theatrical)
|April 16, 2000|
|Budget||USD $10 million|
Bruno (released as The Dress Code on DVD and VHS) is a 2000 American film starring Alex D. Linz and Shirley MacLaine. The film is the first and, as of 2014, the only film ever directed by MacLaine.
Distributed by New Angel Inc., Bruno premiered at the 2000 Los Angeles Film Festival in a limited theatrical release. From there, the film was distributed straight to cable television and rights to it were acquired by Starz.
Bruno Battaglia (Alex D. Linz) is a young boy attending an American Roman Catholic school. Bruno's estranged father Dino (Gary Sinise), a police officer, left the family long ago and Bruno lives with his mother Angela (Stacey Halprin). Angela is overweight and dresses flamboyantly in outfits that she designs and makes herself, standing out in stark contrast to the rest of their conservative Italian American neighborhood.
While competing in advancing levels of the Catholic school spelling bee, Bruno decides to start wearing dresses. He wears them as a source of empowerment as well as feeling the need to express himself. He often identifies with angels and, when challenged that he can't wear a dress to the spelling bee championship in Vatican City, Bruno points out that even the Pope wears a dress. For his choice in outfits, Bruno receives heavy criticism from fellow students and faculty, especially the school's Mother Superior (Kathy Bates) as well as becoming a target of the school's bullies. Initially supported only by his best friend Shawniqua (Kiami Davael), as he progresses further in the spelling competition, his choices of self-expression eventually become accepted by his peers and his superiors. Bruno wins the spelling bee competition and meets the Pope. With the help of his grandmother, Helen (Shirley MacLaine), Bruno also begins to form a bond with Dino who, in turn, is inspired by his son to pursue his long abandoned childhood dream of becoming an opera singer, despite previously being unwilling to accept his son, even leaving the room before Bruno sings in a dress.
Cast and characters
- Alex D. Linz — Bruno Battaglia
- Shirley MacLaine — Helen
- Gary Sinise — Dino Battaglia
- Kathy Bates — Mother Superior
- Stacey Halprin — Angela Battaglia
- Kiami Davael — Shawniqua
- Joey Lauren Adams — Donna Marie
- Jennifer Tilly — Dolores
- "Parigi, o Cara" from La Traviata, performed by The RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra, Carlo Bergonzi and Montserrat Caballé
- "Au fond du temple saint" performed by Jussi Bjoerling and the RCA Victor ORchestra, Robert Merril
- "Di Provenza" from La Traviata, performed by the RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra, Carlo Bergzoni
- Salamon, Julie. On a New Limb With Shirley MacLaine, The New York Times, December 1, 2000. Accessed July 17, 2009.
- Shirley Maclaine Makes Her Film Directorial Debut With Bruno, DigitalJournal.com, November 11, 2000. Accessed July 17, 2009.