Thursday, June 29, 2006

Transamerica (2005)

Dir: Duncan Tucker
Available on DVD

Bree Osborne (Felicity Huffman) is a pre-operative transsexual a week away from her final transformation. She has but one obstacle to overcome, a son she didn’t know existed. After receiving a call from Toby (Kevin Zegers) she travels to New York to bail him out of jail and satisfy her therapist. What she finds is a young man who supports himself by hustling and lives in a drug infested apartment with several other people. Though, as he points out to Bree he does have goals and ambition. Fearing he would not accept her, Bree poses as a missionary sent to straighten him up. Ultimately, she ends up taking a cross country trip with her son and in the process she learns a lot about who she really is and about the son she didn’t know she had.

The beauty of the film is not in what is, but what it isn’t. This film does have a transsexual character but it is not just a transsexual film. The journey that Bree takes is a journey that we all at some point find ourselves traveling. She is on a quest to find herself and the person she truly is. It isn’t about the exterior physical identity, but the character of the person inside. The film never falls into the trap of artificial drama that could easily come with a film of this type. Not to mention the wonderful performances by Zegers and Huffman.


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