Transamerica

LIFE IS MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS.

Stanley (Felicity Huffman) is about to have a male-to-female sex change operation when he finds out that he has a teenage son (Kevin Zegers) who’s been getting into a lot of trouble. This film tries to show a mainstream audience what it means to be a transsexual in the context of a road movie, but that’s also one reason why it becomes rather conventional. The movie is slick, has a sense of humor and plenty of emotions, but it isn’t exactly profound and Fionnula Flanagan’s performance is unconvincingly broad. Still, Huffman is amazingly believable as a man in hiding and the makeup cleverly accentuates (or creates) masculine features.

2005-U.S. 103 min. Color. Produced by René Bastian, Sebastian Dungan, Linda Moran. Written and directed by Duncan Tucker. Song: “Travelin’ Thru” (Dolly Parton). Cast: Felicity Huffman (Stanley/Bree Osbourne), Kevin Zegers (Toby), Fionnula Flanagan (Elizabeth), Elizabeth Peña, Graham Greene, Burt Young.

Golden Globe: Best Actress (Huffman).

Last word: “People occasionally do ask me why I didn’t cast an actual transgender actor in the role. I did my due diligence, though, when I heard that there were a couple transgender actresses in Hollywood. Ultimately, though, I thought it would be inappropriate to approach them, as they were closeted, and an offer would have totally shaken them up. I knew I had to find someone the right age and type for Bree, someone who could do stealth – not someone who was going to look like a guy in a dress. I knew I needed someone more in-between, someone you look at and say, ‘She could be a woman.’ Felicity had the chops.” (Tucker, Moviefone)

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