Transamerica

Transamerica

4.3 6
Director: Duncan Tucker

Cast: Duncan Tucker, Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan

     
 

The first film by Duncan Tucker, Transamerica stars Felicity Huffman as a pre-operative transsexual named Bree (whose given name was Stanley). One week before going under the knife, Bree learns that she fathered a boy who is now 17 and is in trouble with the law. Bree would like to ignore this information, but is forced to meet the young man, Toby (played bySee more details below

Overview

The first film by Duncan Tucker, Transamerica stars Felicity Huffman as a pre-operative transsexual named Bree (whose given name was Stanley). One week before going under the knife, Bree learns that she fathered a boy who is now 17 and is in trouble with the law. Bree would like to ignore this information, but is forced to meet the young man, Toby (played by Kevin Zegers), by her analyst Margaret (Elizabeth Peña), who will not allow the surgery to happen unless Bree meets him and confronts this aspect of her past. Upon meeting, the son believes that Bree is simply a do-gooder. She buys a car and the two road-trip back to her home in Los Angeles, Bree all the while attempting to keep from Toby the truth of the situation.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
2005 saw the release of some strikingly brave mainstream films that broke new ground in the depiction of sexual behavior in American society. While Brokeback Mountain grabbed much of the attention, Transamerica, which scored an Oscar nomination for leading lady Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives), was even more offbeat and thought provoking than the "gay cowboy" feature. In a daring characterization that wowed critics and moviegoers alike, Huffman played Bree (née Stanley) Osbourne, a preoperative male-to-female transsexual who is totally focused on preparing for the operation that will make him a woman for keeps. At the insistence of his therapist (Elizabeth Pena), Bree travels to New York, following an urgent plea for help from the son he fathered while still in college. The boy, 17-year-old Toby (Kevin Zegers), is a street hustler who hopes to become a porn star. Although Bree withholds his true identity from the boy -- who believes him to be a church-affiliated social worker -- he takes Toby in tow and begins the cross-country journey back to California, encountering a number of eccentric and endearing characters along the way. First-time writer-director Duncan Tucker manages to convey, with not inconsiderable subtlety, the character traits -- a hunger for affection and a longing for acceptance -- that bind father and son. Family values, Transamerica makes clear, are wherever you find them.
All Movie Guide
Felicity Huffman is a woman. Anyone who doubts that need only ask her husband, William H. Macy. It's a credit to Huffman's performance in Transamerica, then, that she really makes a viewer wonder. When we first meet Huffman's pre-op transsexual -- Bree, née Stanley -- her physicality is all wonky, her speaking voice is in serious need of practice, and her self-confidence is brittle. The geographical and emotional journey that turns Bree not only into a woman, but more importantly, a person, is just one of the transcendent pleasures of Transamerica. Writer-director Duncan Tucker intends the viewer to travel the same trajectory as Bree, introducing her as synthetic to the point of alien -- the same way Bree sees herself. Pointedly, Tucker makes Bree what a bigot fears most: an inscrutable form of "other." His intention, of course, is to explode that perspective, and as this occurs gradually over the course of a road trip that is alternately wrenching and hilarious, it's immensely satisfying. Nearly as impressive as Huffman is the actor who goes toe-to-toe with her the whole way: Kevin Zegers, who plays Bree's just-discovered son, whose relationship with Bree becomes more and more complicated with each new secret that worms its way into the open. He's got as much transparent baggage as Bree carries privately, and Zegers gets his post-adolescent emotional wildness down perfectly. Like the title itself, Transamerica works on several levels. For one audience, it functions as a quirky road movie with absurd set pieces that occasionally veer toward the tragic; for another, it's a voyage of self-acceptance, an increasingly less tentative embrace of the notion that it takes all kinds. For every audience, Transamerica should be a moving contemplation on the messiness of family, with its disparate parts struggling through unconventional circumstances, trying to love each other.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/23/2006
UPC:
0796019790390
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
R
Source:
Weinstein Company
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:44:00
Sales rank:
15,515

Special Features

Closed Caption; Dolly Parton music video Travelin' Through Travelin' Through: Behind the scenes; Commentary with Duncan Tucker ; Bloopers reel; Conversation with Duncan Tucker and Felicity Huffman conversation with Duncan Tucker and Kevin Zegers; Theatrical trailer; Widescreen (1.78:1) - enhanced for 16 x 9 television; Language: English 5.1; Subtitles: English, Spanish

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Felicity Huffman Bree
Kevin Zegers Toby
Fionnula Flanagan Elizabeth
Elizabeth Peña Margaret
Graham Greene Calvin
Burt Young Murray
Carrie Preston Sydney
Venida Evans Arletty
Jon Budinoff Alex
Raynor Scheine Bobby Jensen
Grant Monohon Hitchhiker
Bianca Leigh Mary Ellen
Danny Burstein Dr. Spikowsky
Craig Bockhorn Police Sergeant
Andrea James Voice Coach
Maurice Orozco Fernando
Paul Borghese NYC Cop
Kate Bayley Tennessee Waitress
Stella Maeve Taylor
Teala Dunn Little Girl
Jim Frangione Taylor's Father
Kelly O'Connell Kelly
Calpernia Addams Calpernia
Sandi Alexander Sandi
Melissa Sklarz Melissa
Felicia Kittles Felicia
David Harrison David
Forrie Smith Sammy
Elayne Stein Phoenix Lady
Amy Povich Phoenix Cop
Burton Elias Male Nurse
Cecy Filipino Nurse
Matt Young Wayne
Barbara Hubbard Barron Ms. Swallow
Lou Lou Gas Station Dog
Zero T. Poodle Lucky
Dolly Parton Singer

Technical Credits
Duncan Tucker Director,Screenwriter
Rene Bastain Producer
Eve Battaglia Casting
Doug Bernheim Musical Direction/Supervision
Lynn Campbell Makeup
Lucy Cooper Associate Producer
Sebastian Dungan Producer
Daniel Glicker Costumes/Costume Designer
Urs Hirschbiegel Asst. Director
Stephen Kazmierski Cinematographer
William H. Macy Executive Producer
David Mansfield Score Composer
Linda Moran Producer
Elinyisia Mosha Production Manager
Dolly Parton Songwriter
Mark White Production Designer
Pam Wise Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Transamerica
1. "This Is the Voice I Want to Use" [5:13]
2. "Stanley Doesn't Live Here Anymore" [4:56]
3. "Allegedly He's My Son" [7:17]
4. "Fasten Your Seat Belt" [5:42]
5. Unwanted Homecoming [6:20]
6. The Lovely Scenery [10:39]
7. Proud to Be a Christian [6:54]
8. History Lesson [3:35]
9. Sammy's Wigwam [5:29]
10. Stranded [10:45]
11. "I Thought Your Parents Were Dead" [7:15]
12. "Family" Dinner [3:20]
13. Revelation [7:07]
14. The Surgery [5:01]
15. Toby's Acting Debut [4:22]
16. End Credits [5:14]

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