Soldier's Girl

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Soldier's Girl
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Directed byFrank Pierson
Written byRon Nyswaner
Produced by
CinematographyPaul Sarossy
Edited byKatina Zinner
Music byJan A.P. Kaczmarek
Bachrach/Gottlieb Productions
Distributed byShowtime
Release dates
  • January 20, 2003 (2003-01-20) (Sundance)
  • May 31, 2003 (2003-05-31) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes
  • United States
  • Canada

Soldier's Girl is a 2003 biographical drama film written by Ron Nyswaner and directed by Frank Pierson. It is based on a story of the relationship between Barry Winchell and Calpernia Addams and the events that led up to Barry's murder by a fellow soldier, starring Troy Garity as Winchell and Lee Pace as Addams. The film premiered on Showtime on May 31, 2003.[1]

Soldier's Girl was listed among the ten best Television Programs of the Year (2003) by the American Film Institute.[2]


Barry is a private with the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army, stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, while Calpernia works as a showgirl at a transgender revue in Nashville, Tennessee. Barry's roommate Justin Fisher brings Barry to the club where Calpernia performs. When Barry and Calpernia start dating, Fisher, out of jealousy, participates in spreading rumors about Barry's alleged affair, which appeared to be a violation of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that forbids discussion of sexual orientation of military personnel. Barry faces increasing harassment and pressure, which explodes into violence over a Fourth of July weekend after Barry easily beats Calvin Glover in a fight. While Calpernia performs in a pageant in Nashville, Barry is beaten to death in his sleep by Glover with a baseball bat given to him by Fisher. The film ends with a discussion of the aftermath.



Soldier's Girl was filmed in Toronto and Barrie in Ontario, Canada.[3]


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on reviews from 8 critics.[4]

John Leonard of New York magazine wrote: "All three principal performances are superb."[1]

Carin Gorrell in Psychology Today calls Soldier's Girl a "gut-wrenching and provacative work" adding that Troy Garity's "performance is so strong that it's nearly impossible to react without sympathy"[5]

In Variety David Rooney wrote: "Both Garity and newcomer Pace give complex, controlled performances, full-bodied and richly empathetic, making the union between this unlikely couple seem entirely plausible and natural".[6]


Accolades for Soldier's Girl
Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2003 Emmy Awards[7] Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special Frank Pierson Nominated
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special Raymond Mackintosh and Russell Cate Nominated
Gotham Independent Film Awards[8] Breakthrough Actor Lee Pace Won
2004 GLAAD Media Awards[9] Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series Soldier's Girl Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[10] Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Soldier's Girl Nominated
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television Troy Garity Nominated
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Lee Pace Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards[11] Best Male Lead Lee Pace Nominated
Best Supporting Male Troy Garity Nominated
Peabody Award[12] Soldier's Girl Won
Satellite Awards Best Television Film Soldier's Girl Nominated
Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Troy Garity Nominated
Lee Pace Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Shawn Hatosy Nominated
TCA Awards[13] Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials Soldier's Girl Nominated

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Addams, Calpernia. "Soldier's Girl: The Reality". Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2005-07-04.
  • Rowe, Michael (June 2003). Cummings, Katherine (ed.). "An Interview with Jane Fonda on Gender". Polare (52). The Gender Centre. Archived from the original on 2016-03-20.


  1. ^ a b Leonard, John (May 21, 2003). "In Brief". New York.
  2. ^ "AFI Awards 2003". American Film Institute.
  3. ^ Per film credits on DVD.
  4. ^ "Soldier's Girl (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  5. ^ Gorrell, Carin (2003). "Soldier's Girl (film)". Psychology Today. 36 (3).
  6. ^ Rooney, David (25 February 2003). "Soldier's Girl (film)". Variety. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  7. ^ "Soldier's Girl". Television Academy. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  8. ^ "Gotham Independent Film Awards 2003". Archived from the original on February 21, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  9. ^ "GLAAD announces media award nominees". UPI. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  10. ^ "Winners & Nominees 2004". Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  11. ^ "19th Independent Spirit Awards Coverage (2004)". Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  12. ^ "Soldier's Girl". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  13. ^ "2004 TCA Awards nominees". Television Critics Association. June 3, 2004. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011.

External links[edit]