In the 1970s, a young trans woman, Patrick "Kitten" Braden, comes of age by leaving her Irish town for London, in part to look for her mother and in part because her gender identity is beyond the town's understanding.
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Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
A young transwoman, Patrick "Kitten" Braden, comes of age in the 1970s. She leaves her Irish town, in part to look for her mother and in part because her transgender nature is beyond the town's understanding. She's taken in by a rock band, falls for the lead singer, has brushes with the IRA, is arrested by the London police, works in a peep show, and poses as a survey researcher for the phone company. Throughout, her nationality and her nature put her at great risk. In her search for her mother, she makes surprising discoveries of friendship and family. But, will she survive? Written by
Whilst the film is set in the late 1960s, early 1970s, the London underground train the Phantomlady disappears into, after Kitten ran down the escalator after her, is of the 1990s. See more »
Patrick "Kitten" Braden:
Dear Sir Unseen, I know my music and I am willing to bet you ten times whatever pathetic price you paid to get in this place that the dog's tail is 'waggely.' Now I want to hear you bark.
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With thanks to the people of Callan Co., Kilkenny See more »
While this is not a completely conventional film either in structure or storytelling, it is deeply committed to telling the story of Kitten. Just as the film is committed, so is Cillian Murphy committed to being the best Kitten he can, and he succeeds to an almost uncomfortable point, which I think is part of the storytellers goal.
Who does not want to be loved? Not many of us, and Kitten wants it more than most. Her journey to find love in whatever form it may take is both touching and harrowing at times. You cringe when she finds her self in certain situations, and you root for her to take charge of her life, but that is something she is quite unable to do for the most part of her journey.
While this story features the good, the bad and the ugly of the transvestite lifestyle, there is no judgment being made, it is presented as a simple fact of Kitten's life from nearly the first time you see her. That in itself is refreshing. There are stereotypes, but not presented in stereotypical situation, which is also refreshing.
I came away from this movie with a warm feeling in my heart for the character, the story, and the commitment of everyone involved in the film, it drew me in, it took me to places I did not expect, and it gave me a film experience you simply can not find every day in our cookie cutter Hollywood film world these days. My hat is off to all of you involved in the film. If you like something different, something unexpected, and something unusual made with a lot of love, this is the film for you.
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