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Normal (2003)

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A Midwestern husband and father announces her plan to have a sex change operation.

Director:

Jane Anderson

Writers:

Jane Anderson (play), Jane Anderson (teleplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Bull ... Roy Sr. - Roy's Father
Mary Seibel Mary Seibel ... Em - Roy's Mother
Danny Goldring ... Church Friend Pete
Jessica Lange ... Irma Applewood
Tom Wilkinson ... Roy 'Ruth' Applewood
Hayden Panettiere ... Patty Ann Applewood
Randall Arney Randall Arney ... Reverend Dale Muncie
Rich Komenich Rich Komenich ... Co-Worker Bob
Kirk Anderson Kirk Anderson ... Machinist
Christian Ambrose Christian Ambrose ... Band Member #1
Joe Foust Joe Foust ... Roadie #1
Sean Rice Sean Rice ... Band Member #2
Mickey Tuman Mickey Tuman ... Roadie #2
Joseph Sikora ... Wayne Applewood (as Joe Sikora)
Clancy Brown ... Frank
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Storyline

In the countryside of the United States of America, Irma Applewood and her husband Roy Applewood have been happily married for twenty-five years and they are model citizens in their community. Roy brings Irma to meet Reverend Dale Muncie, who is their pastor and friend, to tell that he is a woman trapped in a man's body and he will have a sex-change operation. Now Roy has to face the deception of his wife and the intolerance of his colleagues, members of his church and his son Wayne. But Irma loves him and after the impact of the news, she understands and supports him with their teenage daughter Patty Ann (Hayden Panettiere) and Roy's boss Frank ('Clancy Brown') that is their friend. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love. Marriage. Acceptance. Sex change.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eine Frage der Liebe See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the films that Jane Anderson screened before working on "Normal" was Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage". She also screened "Tender Mercies" and "Country", one of star Jessica Lange's films. See more »

Quotes

Patty Ann: Mom, Dad and I have the same breast size now!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Looking for Normal" originally produced by Geffen Playhouse, Gilbert Cates, Randall Arney, Stephen Eich, Los Angeles, CA 2001 See more »

Connections

Featured in The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Day
Written by Dave Bynum (as David Bynum), Matt Nader (as Matthew Nader), William Terry,
and John Truskett
Performed by Epperley
Courtesy of Windswept Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

Not Just Another Transsexual Movie
22 January 2003 | by baho2See all my reviews

Normal is a funny, lovely, touching love story about a God-fearing rural small-town Midwestern couple--Roy and Irma Applewood--played by Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Lange. Shortly after their 25th anniversay, Roy goes public with the revelation that he has long felt that he is a woman trapped in a man's body, and with the Protestant determination to do something about it, no matter the consequences. Irma (Jessica Lange), an avid knitter and member of the church choir, naturally finds this a little disconcerting.

And so the fun begins. Roy gradually becomes a woman, and Irma, as well as the kids and the townspeople, all react.

Wilkinson is a curious transsexual, shattering virtually all of our myths, he evolves from an aging, non-descript man into a still-frumpy and hopelessly homely woman. While we may feel his pain, Anderson is much more interested in challenging our reaction to him than delving into his conflicted anguish. Nevertheless, she treats his change with a certain amount of whimsy. It is difficult not to warm to his smile when he dons his first earrings.

But it is Lange who is the star of the show. Demonstrating a surprising knack for dry comedy, she moves from frustration and resentment to acceptance and compassion. Surely drawing from her own Midwestern roots (some of the move could easily have been filmed in Cloquet, Minnesota!) Lange's character never wallows in self-pity, but searches for answers within, as she seeks to redefine her relationship to her husband.

Lange once again displays her extraordinary talent. (Truth be told, she was my first crush, and she is aging beautifully.) She portrays strength and vulnerability like few in her class. (Meryl Streep comes to mind.)

Hayden Panettiere is also quite good as the 13-year-old daughter.

Normal premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.


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