With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son.
Aviva is thirteen, awkward and sensitive. Her mother Joyce is warm and loving, as is her father, Steve, a regular guy who does have a fierce temper from time to time. The film revolves around her family, friends and neighbors.
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Stephen Adly Guirgis
Southern Californian Bree Osbourne, formerly Stanley Chupak, has finally received the news for which she has been waiting: she has been approved for male-to-female sexual reassignment surgery. But before Margaret, her therapist, will allow her to go through with the surgery scheduled in a week's time, Bree has to deal with an unresolved problem from her past. Bree gets a telephone call from a seventeen year old man named Toby Wilkins, who is looking for Stanley, his biological father. Toby is in a New York jail, having been supporting himself by petty crime and hustling. Stanley/Bree knew nothing about Toby before the telephone call. Toby apparently is all alone in the world, with his mother having committed suicide and being estranged from his stepfather in Tennessee. Masquerading as a Christian social worker, Bree, not telling him either of her true identity or her transgender status, bails Toby out of jail and tells him she will take him to Los Angeles, where Toby has aspirations ... Written by
Not knowing the film would be such a success, most of the wardrobe and props were donated to charity and thrift stores after production wrapped. See more »
Bree's sister, half Jewish, misuses the Yiddish phrase "kin-ahora" when she hears about Toby's mother's suicide. The phrase means "may the evil eye be averted" and is roughly equivalent to "knock on wood". It is used when you say something GOOD, to avert a spell cast by a jealous person or a demon. It would NEVER be used with respect to something bad. See more »
Felicity Huffman's wry performance is Oscar quality
I first saw Transamerica as the closing film for the Frameline film festival in San Francisco where it won the "The Frameline Audience Award for Best Feature". The film was obviously a labor of love. Duncan Tucker wrote, directed and wisely cast Felicity Huffman as Bree (before she had been cast as a "desperate housewife"). Huffman's husband William Macy was executive producer.
The plot line is certainly the tried and true formula of the transformational road trip, yet the irony of Bree's concurrent sexual transformation freshens a story that could easily have been cliché. Kevin Zegers and the rest of the supporting cast are superb, but Huffman's characterization of Bree is Oscar caliber.
See Transamerica! It's not tragic like "Boys Don't Cry". It's not about sexuality, fetish, or camp. It's a movie about otherness, transformation, family, and ultimately acceptance. Felicity Huffman's Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated performance is absolutely astounding. Her acting skill fills Bree with insecurity, pathos, warmth, humor, and growth which ultimately transforms the audience's involvement from freak show curiosity to empathy and identification.
Thankfully the Weinstein brothers recognized just how outstandingly strong this performance is and decided that Transamerica would be one of the first films they would choose to distribute after their great success at Miramax.
I saw this movie again during it's limited distribution, again in general distribution and now own the DVD. Each time I've watched it I find even more to like. Transamerica is an indie classic.
157 of 186 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?