Friday, February 24, 2006


Transamerica (Director: Duncan Tucker)

TRANSAMERICA has been nominated for 2 Oscars:

Best Actress (Felicity Huffman)
Original Song (Dolly Parton, "Travelin' Thru")

Tucker hasn't done anything else in which most would be familiar. He also wrote the screenplay.

This year's Oscar representatives definitely, no duh, have that left-wing barrage, an overload of alternative lifestyles and political perspective. It's not fair to say Transamerica fits with this, really, but it definitely got awards attention from the subject matter. But this movie isn't concerned with making its main character a voicebox for trans-gendered people, not in the usual way, where there's some heartfelt speech about "this is who I am, deal with it," and so on.

Bree (Felicity Huffman) is a pre-op looking to make the necessary surgery that will finally fulfill her gender identity. Before she was Bree, he was Stanley, and he did make it with a girl once, and now there's a boy Toby (Kevin Zegers) calling from prison claiming he's Stanley's son. His mother has committed suicide and he doesn't get along with his stepfather. Bree doesn't let on that she once used to be a man and that he is the father, only saying that she is from a church that helps misguided youth. She wants to go to California and get the operation, and he wants to be an actor, so they have a cross-country trip together. Of course, there are going to be revelations and misunderstandings along the way.

It's your typical road movie, even if one of the characters is a tranny. There's your usual fights over what plays on the radio, personal boundaries, growing to accept and appreciate each other, all that stuff. What makes a road movie worthwhile is what happens on the journey. I can't say that it's the most exciting trip you'll ever take--it's pretty much been done before and there's not much that's memorable. And I thought the scene where Toby finds out that Bree is a man was completely unbelievable. There were better chances to get that across than the one chosen.

Felicity Huffman does deserve some mention here, because her performance is actually very good apart from the things you'd expect. But yeah, it's an overall average movie.


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