Midnight Cowboy ★★★★★

A devastating yet quietly poignant study of two men alienated from their callous environment trying to save one another from complete isolation. Jon Voight (whose decidedly more progressive earlier roles make his status as one of the industry’s chief horrible politics haver even weirder) and Dustin Hoffman are both great in the lead roles. Voight totally sells the idea of Joe as a naive young man who never seems to grasp what he’s getting himself into until he’s too late, and Hoffman shows his early adeptness at developing a real and compelling character around a series of tics. Though there’s obviously some capital-D Directing on display, it’s really these two actors’ performances that make this film such an intensely compelling viewing experience.

I really could have done without the slurs (and the maybe-transphobic, maybe-just-dunking-on-effeminate-gay-men vibes from the person Ratso insults in his first scene), but they at least fit as a nasty product of the time and a reflection of how both of the leads very clearly seem to be interested in men (if not each other, straight-up), but lack the proper comfort in their masculinity to actually embrace it.