Transamerica movie poster
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Transamerica movie poster

Transamerica Movie Review

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One of the more enjoyable and well-acted movies of the year, "Transamerica" works on many levels mainly due to the performance of Felicity Huffman.

There's no real need to lay praise on Huffman, as I'm sure you've heard it all before. Huffman earned an Oscar nomination for her role as a woman who used to be a man, and she deserved it. Her comedic and dramatic timing are perfect.

The movie, which I watched about two months ago and have since forgotten a lot of the specifics (that's what I get for not writing a review right away), is about this almost-woman who is preparing for transgender surgery to become a full woman. Only days before the procedure she receives a phone call from a son she never knew she had (wasn't that a bad joke in "Mafia!"). She travels to New York to bail him out of jail, and reluctantly offers to drive him cross country so he can find an acting career in Los Angeles. They set out on the road together, but the duo is bound for trouble. She hasn't told her son who she is, and he's a male prostitute willing to do just about anything to get ahead (no pun intended). When he finally discovers the truth, their awkward relationship is put to the test.

"Transamerica" is both funny and dramatic at the same time, and works well from beginning to end. The movie goes a tad overboard with the rather unnecessary gay porn stuff near the end (no, not what you think), but other than that it is just a really odd family drama. Huffman and co-star Kevin Zegers have good chemistry together, and they take a lot of entertaining and amusing moments to the next level.

"Transamerica" is a quality comedy-drama with great performances and an excellent story. The movie isn't for everyone, but despite the slightly unusual characters it is surprisingly grounded, and that is what really helps it work. The characters lead to awkward situations, but writer/director Duncan Tucker never makes things absurd.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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