11
Apr 06

Stating The Obvious About Transamerica

Do You SeePost a comment • 252 views

Transamerica has not, in my readings, actually been reviewed by a transsexual. Not that verisimilitude is ever a particularly important trait in cinema, but we do have to consider Transamerica a special case. In the end Felicity Huffman is, for the greater extent of the film playing a man. This causes more than a couple of problems with the general narrative thrust of the film. In a clever inversion, her son is seen as the stupidest person in the film because he does not realise she is a transsexual. BUT SHE IS NOT A TRANSSEXUAL! This is potentially amusing up until a party full of transsexuals and the wink has been more than considerably tipped. This also becomes even more problematic when Bree is saddled without her make-up. Where she perhaps should end up looking more like a man, she looks more naturalistically feminine. This is almost certainly the point, but up until this stage it becomes clear that the performance has almost been on a par with Hugo Weaving in V For Vendetta – all vocal acting behind a foundation mask.

So my question is simple. Were transsexual actors considered for the role (thinking that Huffman was pretty much unknown when cast). Were male actors considered? And is this journey, nonsense plot trappings notwithstanding, convincing?

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