Friday, February 03, 2006

At The Rialto

Got a hankerin' to see a movie yesterday and opted for a late screening of Transamerica. For those of you who haven't heard of it yet, it stars Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives fame. It's basically an old fashioned road trip buddy movie with a twist. Huffman is a woman playing a man who's becoming a woman. A pre-op transexual who ends up on a cross country car trip with the son she never new she fathered. The son thinks she's a Jesus freak missionary with a hidden agenda. Thus begins a series of funny, uncomfortable and poignant misadventures as "mother" and son learn to care for, or at the very least, respect each other and the people they've become. Or are becoming.

I enjoyed it. I thought the writing was brilliant. The script was a tad predictable, no surprises as to where the story was going or how things would likely end but getting there they were witty, complex and fully realized characters. The supporting cast that was woven in to the storyline was wonderful as well. Kevin Zegers, who starred opposite Huffman as her son was, as everyone who has seen the film has noted, fucking hot, but also turned in a subtle, multi-faceted performance of his own. I also enjoyed Huffman's portrayal as Bree. There were moments of brilliance and her timing can be superb. If I had one reservation it was that sometimes, you can see Huffman "acting". Her performance was both nuance and artifice, at times breathtaking as many critics noted and other times melodramatic and overdone. Did we really need the drooling, overwrought breakdown at the end of the movie to "see" her pain?

As an aside, I went to see the movie at the new Waverly IFC center. I say new because it was the first time I saw a film there since it opened. So new to me. I'm glad I went. It turns out this weekend there will be midnight screenings of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. John Cameron Mitchell will be there to introduce the film and meet and greet the audience. I've never seen the entire film and look forward to seeing it on a big screen. Speaking of Mitchell, what ever happened with this project? Anybody?

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