Thursday, December 3, 2009


It’s been said (by me, at least) that the pretty actress who plays ugly usually gets the Oscar. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica.” (She was nominated. But the honor went to Reese Witherspoon for her portrayal of June Carter in “Walk the Line.”) They made a mistake. Huffman’s performance as Bree, a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual, is nothing short of amazing. She captures the man trapped inside the woman’s body in a way that’s so believable, you’ll find yourself forgetting what the real Felicity Huffman looks or sounds like. The plot of “Transamerica” is set in motion when Bree, who’s one signature away from her sexual reassignment surgery, gets a call from the son she never knew existed (Kevin Zegers) and her therapist (Elizabeth Peña) refuses to approve the surgery until she ties up this one last loose end from her prior life. Bree reluctantly flies to New York and then offers to drive the boy back to Los Angeles – while trying to conceal her true identity. There are bumps out on the road (including the revelation of Bree’s status). But over the course of the drive, the two learn a lot about themselves and each other as their relationship grows. That may make “Transamerica” sound like a conventional road movie about self-discovery. But it’s made much more interesting because of the subtle and graceful performance at its center. My tweet: Transamerica-A pre-op transsexual travels cross-country with his son & learns how to be a father just in time to become his mother. 8 (out of 10)


Released: 2005

Rating: R

Length: 103 minutes

Cast: Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan, Burt Young, Elizabeth Peña

Director: Duncan Tucker

Genre(s): Drama, Family, Urban

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