Saturday, 1 December 2012

Transamerica (2005) - ★★★★

Director: Duncan Tucker
Writers: Duncan Tucker
Stars: Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Graham Greene, Fionnula Flannagan, Burt Young, Carrie Preston

Transamerica is a heartwarming story that sensitively shows both the inner and outer turmoil that trans-gender people go through, which is meticululously played by Felicity Huffman, (a woman, playing a man becoming a woman). It is also a beautifully crafted movie about the bonding of two very different people stuck with each-other on a journey.

When Bree (Huffman) finds out that she has been approved for her sex-change operation, she has to have signed permission from her therapist in order to have it performed. One week before the surgery, she finds out that she has a son, Toby (Kevin Zegers). Her therapist would not sign permission for the surgery unless Bree makes an effort to get to know her new found son. Toby is a deeply troubled teenager who dabbles with both drugs and sex with strangers in order to survive. When the two meet, Bree decides to help Toby attain a better life through exploring all options possible through going on a road trip. Bree also needs to make it back to Los Angeles in time for her surgery. Together, this beautifully interesting father and son combo meet some pretty wacky characters along their way to finding themselves in their trans-American journey.
From start to finish, this film had me mezmerized. You can put almost all of the blame on Felicity Huffman's oscar worthy performance as Bree, a transsexual man that plans on having male-to-female sexual reassignment surgery. I cannot stress how amazing this performance was, and I certainly believe it's one of the greatest performances in history. You could really feel her pain when someone referred to her as a man, which got me so invested into hoping that Bree finds her happiness.

The supporting cast were brilliant from top to bottom, starting with Kevin Zegers portrayal of Toby. This character went through much pain and suffering himself, which showed in Zeger's performance as the confused and lost teenager. It is very reminiscent of characters such as John O'connor (Edward Furlong) in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Toby had a wicked attitude, but also a very likable sensitive side which couldn't help but be nice to the very quirky 'woman' which was Bree. 

I sympathize with both of these characters, which is why they affected me so much. Their journey was fun, upsetting, and informative with issues of inner-conflict within a person. This isn't a movie for everyone. Transamerica is worth a watch for Huffman's performance alone, but along the way I think you'll find that it is a charming and entertaining film all-round.

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