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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This is an incredible film and is what true story telling is all about.

10/10
Author: Boristhemoggy from United Kingdom
18 January 2017

The story is complex: Ray is a boy who was born into a girl's body. Craig and Matthew are his biological and emotional fathers, Frances and Dolly are his grandmother and lesbian lover, and Maggie, his long suffering Mum who tries to manage the whole family. Ray is going through the process of becoming a boy and the film follows him through part of the journey with all the pitfalls and emotions there is. The dialogue is genuine, the direction is superb, the acting is first class, even from Naomi Watts who plays Maggie, an actor I don't really like but she takes on this role competently. Elle Fanning shines out like an acting sun, eclipsing everyone around her and becoming the hinge pin that the entire story revolves around. She displays almost every single emotion a human is capable of and acts far, far beyond her 17 years. She earned £65,000 from this movie, that's a pittance for her performance, it's probably one of the 10 best I've ever seen. Don't miss this, it will stay in your memory for a long time.

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28 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

It is a feel good movie that shows that family can overcome anything together, no matter how dysfunctional.

8/10
Author: alyssahurst from Toronto
21 September 2015

About Ray is a fresh take on a family drama that most people can relate to in some way.

All families have their problems, and this family is no exception. They show a glimpse of what it is like to have to live in a body that you don't identify with and the complications that go with it.

It is a feel good movie that shows that family can overcome anything together, no matter how dysfunctional.

All of the lead actresses are amazing, and the set is really one of a kind.

Check it out.

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Don't watch this if you're actually trans/queer

1/10
Author: Ana Erzen from Slovenia
22 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was over the moon about this movie, since it's not often Hollywood produces something like this. We don't have many LGBTQ+ movies, and we sorely lack representation.

But I was severely disappointed. Firstly, the movie isn't actually about Ray. The protagonist is Ray's mom, an 18-year-old in the body of a grown up (at some point she complains her lesbian mothers are breaking up with her, because they suggest she might move out of their house). She is trying and mostly fails to support Ray in transition (which is odd, since she mentions years of therapy with him), misgendering him several times throughout the movie and expressing doubts about the authenticity of his experience. She acts completely immaturely where Ray's father(s?) are involved, which is a major subplot for some reason. The biological father and one of the grandmothers often misgender him and direct transphobia at him. In addition, a lot of Ray's own experience of gender, conveyed through his videos, seems to be based off gender roles (him saying he'd rather be a race-car driver or a cowboy than a princess) and that made me doubt the writers actually did any research on trans individuals and gender identity.

The fact is that the creators of the movie had an amazing opportunity to bring out an interesting story of someone that is often overlooked in film and thus can offer a new perspective to the viewer. Instead, they chose to push Ray into the background and focus on the emotionally immature mother and her weird love triangle. A FILM THAT WAS MADE TO HIGHLIGHT THE EXPERIENCE OF A STIGMATIZED AND UNDER-REPRESENTED MINORITY DEVOLVED TO THE POINT WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE Plot line IS WHITE/RICH/STRAIGHT/CISGENDER CHARACTERS' DRAMA THAT CENTERS AROUND FURTHER STIGMATIZING/DISENFRANCHISING THAT SAME MINORITY. To me, the movie felt plastic. I don't know what it was trying to do, but it felt like the story was just an afterthought. If it ends up raising awareness somehow, great. But in the end, it's just a bad movie.

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Despite having its release pulled, the movie isn't just. It just, unfortunately, tries to balance out the mother's personal drama with her trans son.

7/10
Author: Amari-Sali from https://amarisali.wordpress.com/
2 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Trigger Warning(s):

Transphobia (One Scene of Bullying but mostly misgendering)

Noted Actor(s)

Ray (Elle Fanning) | Maggie (Naomi Watts) | Dolly (Susan Sarandon)

Characters & Storyline

Ray

Since Ray was 4 he knew he was born in the wrong body. Now 12 years later, after a lot of therapy, and dealing with his feminist grandma trying to convince him perhaps he was just a butch lesbian, it is time. However, in order to transition to becoming a male it requires not just his mom signing off on the various paperwork, which would include getting testosterone, but also the father he hasn't seen in almost a decade.

Maggie

Your daughter is becoming your son, you live with your two moms and the one who is your biological mom seems to make snide comments about your life all the time. It's a bit much to handle and no amount of books can really prep or help. But life happens and despite how uncomfortable things are, you have to learn to adapt right? If you don't it could negatively affect your child and at the end of the day, that's who matters the most right?

Highlights

A Different Perspective

Whether it is I Am Jazz, Redefining Realness, Star, Orange is the New Black, Gun Hill Road, Tangerine, Paris is Burning or countless other media out there, more often than not the focus is masculine assigned persons transitioning to women. Rarely is there anything about someone transitioning the other direction, outside of the various roles Elliot Fletcher (who pretty much corners that market) has played, that character on House of Lies, and Cole on The Fosters. Be it because less of an eye is bat when someone assigned a girl transitions to a boy, or because there isn't the same curiosity and ability to sensationalize. Either way, it was nice to get a taste, just a taste mind you, of the issues FTM trans people go through. Be it boys who misgender you and bully you for it, girls who you have feelings for not seeing you for the man you are, your family adjusting and maybe some of them even feeling betrayed you'd leave the ranks of womanhood to become a man, much less your parents coming to terms with the change.

Susan Sarandon

A part of me wishes that Sarandon's character was raising Ray as opposed to Maggie. If only because, as noted below, Maggie's drama almost seems like it wants to compete for attention and eclipse the movie's central topic. But it isn't just because of Maggie's drama I'd prefer Sarandon playing the parental role but also because Dolly, her character, brings something different to the complicated matter of a family member transitioning. She is the one which helps push the difference which comes from dealing with an MTF transitioning person vs. an FTM. Also, she is basically the comic relief but without making herself, or rather the character, a joke in the process.

Criticism

Maggie

Parents play a major role when it comes to the lives of trans people. They are perhaps one of the most important figures in finding acceptance and of course learning what it means to be a man or women. But the problem here with Maggie is as the movie tries to craft a life for Maggie it adds all this eye-roll inducing drama in terms of Ray's father and her relationship with him. Which, at first, you're OK with since we are invited into these characters' lives while they are in their late teens, in Ray's case, and likely the 40s of Maggie. However, slowly but surely, it seems like Maggie wasn't there to share focus with Ray's or even have her story-line support Ray's. At a certain point, it seemed like Maggie's story-line was competing with Ray's for prominence and it was more about Maggie's troubled relationship than her son trying to complete their transition and start a new life.

Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)

You know how most MTF movies solely feature that character, their relationships with people, and tries to disillusion the viewer on their experience. Yeah, this movie kind of does that but then focuses too much on the mom and her drama, her relationships, to the point it makes it so while you may have watched this movie to learn about Ray, you end up learning a hell of a lot more about Maggie. Which would have been fine if that was how this was marketed, and maybe why the title was changed to Three Generations, but no one cares about Maggie. Maggie's story is tired and old. Which is why this is being labeled Mixed (Home Viewing) because you come for Ray, to learn about his life and what it is like to be a young man transitioning, which we don't really see except in supporting characters. Yet, instead, get another story about a privileged white woman trying to avoid responsibility and making things about her.

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