Transamerica — SBS last Saturday night ****

13 Jan

Probably I was under a rock at the time, but I hadn’t registered Transamerica at all; certainly I must have missed Margaret and David in February 2006:

Review by Margaret Pomeranz

It’s no accident that so many Oscar-nominated films are finding their way into cinemas at the moment. Felicity Huffman’s performance in Transamerica has had a nod and this intelligent actress, known to Australian viewers through her character in Desperate Housewives, is so convincing as Bree – a transsexual who’s just about to have the final operation to become a woman…

Transamerica is the first film from Duncan Tucker and what’s really terrific about his film is that he’s makes it very clear that being a transsexual en-route to gender transformation is a painful thing, and yet there’s a lot of humour in Bree, she’s no tragic figure. And she’s not someone to laugh at either. Felicity Huffman rightly deserves the attention she’s getting for playing Bree. A woman playing a man trying to be a woman?

But the film isn’t really about people on the edge of society, it’s about what all of us are about, sorting out who we are and who we love, and the role that family plays in our lives. It possibly would have been easy to make this as a quirky comedy. But Duncan Tucker is after something real, thank goodness….

Margaret gave it ****, while David (who found it “prosaic”) gave it ***1/2. You can see I agree with Margaret. Felicity Huffman won a Golden Globe for it, and she is brilliant; her son in the movie was played by Canadian actor Kevin Zegers. He’s very good too, and certainly not unattractive — and you do see rather a lot of him.

The script is very intelligent indeed. Oddly, I found it a profoundly Christian movie! No, I don’t think Fred Nile would agree, but it is all about reconciliation, love, understanding, inclusiveness, and all those terrific values. Kind of a prodigal son parable really — or perhaps better, offspring. Two of them, as it happens. It is also very understanding about transsexuality, without being over earnest; I thought of my church friend norrie. But it is adult fare. It’s one of the best movies I have seen on TV for a while.

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Posted by on January 13, 2009 in best viewing 2009, Gay and Lesbian, gay issues, humanity, movies, TV


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