Review of Boylesque – a touching depiction of a drag performer who rejects aging gracefully.

Estimated read time 2 min read


Despite being largely unexplored in media, the later stages of LGBTQ+ life are vividly depicted in Bogna Kowalczyk’s dynamic and emotional portrayal of 82-year-old drag performer Andrzej Szwan, also known as Lulla La Polaca. Despite living in a country with oppressive anti-LGBTQ+ laws, Andrzej adds a bright and lively presence to his solitary residence in a Soviet-style apartment building in Poland.

Andrzej, known as Lulla, serves as a connection between the older and younger members of the queer community, sharing insights about saunas and public bathhouses where gay men used to meet before the rise of dating apps. The film also delves into the difficulties of growing older, as Andrzej struggles to keep up with his younger friends in terms of partying and drinking. However, he also feels out of place with his peers who are more interested in mushroom hunting than clubbing.

Death is a constant presence in both playful and profound forms. In one scene, Andrzej suggests a stiletto-shaped urn to a funeral planner. He frequently mentions Maciek, a dear friend whose unexpected and tragic death made Andrzej realize his own mortality. Yet, he also embraces the unknown by trying dating apps, hoping to find true love.

Kowalczyk’s choice to limit the use of historical documents showcasing Andrzej’s past reflects his personal perspective on the passing of time. This queer elder wholeheartedly embraces the unknowns of the future with a contagious enthusiasm for life.


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