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Director:Duncan Tucker
Cast:Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan, Burt Young, Elizabeth Pena, Graham Greene
Release Date:2005
Genre:Comedy, Drama

By Bret McCabe | Posted 1/25/2006

Felicity Huffman delivers a nuanced turn as Stanley "Bree" Osbourne, a biological man who wants to have a sex-change operation to become the woman she knows she is, but director Duncan Tucker's Transamerica eventually slips into earnest simplicity. Everything compelling comes from Huffman, who's lowered voice and perpetually clenched personality captures the social unease of knowing you were born as something you're not. Bree wants nothing more than to blend in as just another woman, yet before she can undergo her operation her case therapist forces her to deal with the recent discovery that a college sexual experience as a man resulted in a teenage son, who is incarcerated in New York. Toby (Kevin Zegers) is a Kentucky runaway turned druggy NYC male hustler, which appalls the strait-laced Bree. Wanting to help Toby without him knowing who she is, the pair embark on a cross-country trek back to California, where Toby believes his dad lives--after which Transamerica becomes as clichˇ-prone as an after-school special. Thankfully Huffman enlivens even the movie's more perfunctory plotting--she nails the mundane turmoil of using an unfamiliar public rest room in nothing but a pause and brief panic in the eyes, and Bree's unannounced stop at her parents' Arizona home is a gloriously uncomfortable wreck--but Transamerica ultimately opts for sweet instead of smart.

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