Monday, April 17, 2006


Title: Transamerica
Cast: Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers
Director: Duncan Tucker

Bree is a woman in a man’s body. Or at least, what’s left of a man’s body. One more operation and Bree will be a woman in a woman’s body. An operation she will have in one week’s time. Except that she has just discovered that she has a son. The product of a mistaken college relationship. Brie decides to take the easy option – denial.

However her psychologist doesn’t accept this. Her psychologist sees this as evidence that she is not prepared for her operation, and that gender issues still exist. And without the psychologist’s signature then Brie can’t have that operation. So she has to go meet her son, and come to terms with him.

Toby is in prison awaiting bail for holding drugs, a 17-year old who has been turning tricks in the streets of New York to make ends meet. When Bree arrives he assumes she is from a church group, and she makes no effort to tell him the truth. Instead she decides to drive him back to his home town, not realising that an abusive step-father awaits them.

As they travel together Bree must come to terms with her sex, with her relation to her son, and her relation to her own parents. For the most part Transamerica is a clever little American Indy - that no doubt benefits from the Felicity Huffman’s role in Desperate Housewives. And undoubtedly Huffman dominates the film with the strength of her performance. Exuding an awkwardness as character gets increasingly out of her depth in her attempts to establish a new life. However the film drags a little – at times feeling somewhat episodic, which tends to give it something of a patchy feel. Regardless it is a decent little film – the combination of Huffman’s performance and the feeling of being well removed from Hollywood working in the film’s favour.

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