IFC Films | Release Date: December 2, 2005
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 69 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
56
Mixed:
9
Negative:
4
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4
BenK.Jan 30, 2006
Another spin from a broken record. I thought 2/3 of Huffman's performance was touching but attaching this performance onto a banal road movie is cruel. So much of this movie felt recycled from other movies. Don't people in movies Another spin from a broken record. I thought 2/3 of Huffman's performance was touching but attaching this performance onto a banal road movie is cruel. So much of this movie felt recycled from other movies. Don't people in movies ever use interstates? Hasn't anybody ever heard of a Hampton Inn? Expand
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6
MarkB.Feb 2, 2006
A man seeking to become a woman--who dresses and acts like one, and who has had the hormone injections and most of the other necessary procedures--has his/her journey to the final operation interrupted by a sudden appearance by his long-lost A man seeking to become a woman--who dresses and acts like one, and who has had the hormone injections and most of the other necessary procedures--has his/her journey to the final operation interrupted by a sudden appearance by his long-lost son, a street hustler and would-be gay porn star who not only is completely unaware of their relationship but also doesn't know that "she's" still a "he". You've definitely got to give writer-director Duncan Tucker his props for concocting a one-of-a-kind premise, but then you have to subtract points for making it just one more road movie. We've had hundreds and hundreds of them, from It Happened One Night to Easy Rider to Midnight Run to Rain Man; unless your name happens to be Alexander Payne, it's a really tired, overused genre that needs to be given at least a temporary rest, and did I mention that this is no It Happened One Night or Easy Rider or Midnight Run or Rain Man? TransAmerica strains to be light and airy, with only a few carefully calibrated heavy dramatic moments, but it falls short of the mark: the audience I saw this with laughed uproariously at the relatively few effectively comic moments mostly because there WERE relatively few of them. As far as Felicity Huffman's much-vaunted tour de force, I must admit I'm on the fence; I generally really like Huffman, who was terrific on TV's Sports Night and whose overwhelmed executive-turned-mommy is my favorite Desperate Housewife, but here...I just don't know. I greatly admired Hilary Swank's work in Boys Don't Cry and Charlize Theron's in Monster, and Huffman's performance here is an impressive TECHNICAL achievement, but there have been just too many actresses lately who've won Oscars for doing the equivalent of Robert DeNiro's and Tom Hanks's radical physical makeovers in PORTIONS of Raging Bull and Cast away; it's flashy, to be sure, but this year at least I preferred the more subtle, sublime and non-nominated work of Shopgirl's Claire Danes, King Kong's Naomi Watts and The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio's Julianne Moore. (And Huffman will probably edge Reese Witherspoon out on March 5 partially because voters will remember her endearing Emmy speech about William H. Macy kissing her in a cornfield and hope she repeats or does a variation on it. Just ask Roberto Begnini how important previous awards-season acceptance-speech showmanship is!) Maybe my mixed feelings about Huffman are also due to Tucker's characterization of Stan/Bree as being rather stiff and humorless; in addition to "tucking it in", the surgeons need to do an additional operation to remove the stick from his/her butt! This, of course, is just one indication of the general coarseness with which Tucker treats some of his characters; it's nowhere more in evidence than when Stan/Bree and son make an extended stop to meet the family. The sister, delightfully played by Carrie Preston, is so bright and engaging she deserves her own movie, and it's a real pleasure to see Burt Young, Rocky Balboa's screen brother-in-law, in really relaxed form as the dad, but the normally fine character actress Fionnula Flanagan is hopelessly saddled with the one-dimensionally caricatured role of Stan/Bree's buffoonish, intolerant mom. One of the aspects of Brokeback Mountain that makes it great is its complex, utterly sympathetic treatment of all of Jack's and Ennis's family members; TransAmerica wants badly to look breezy and nonjudgmental, but everytime Flanagan appears onscreen or says something, the movie's as strident and hamfisted as the worst Norman Lear-produced sitcoms of the mid-1970s. Expand
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6
StephenFeb 27, 2006
Actually, I wanted to give this one 6.5, but that score isn't in the system. It is a very enjoyable piece, make no mistake, but there are a few simple errors which hold it back. Although she never remotely resembles a genetic male, Actually, I wanted to give this one 6.5, but that score isn't in the system. It is a very enjoyable piece, make no mistake, but there are a few simple errors which hold it back. Although she never remotely resembles a genetic male, Huffman (as the MtF transsexual Bree) is terrific. However, the dignity and decorum of her performance are somewhat undermined by the bouffant campiness of Fionnulla Flanagan as her mother. Now, this is just a road movie with a twist, and like most road movies it has a few cameo scenes that don't make a lot of sense, but that can be overlooked. First problem - I don't usually pay the costumes much mind, but I found Bree's pink skirts and prissy heels quite distracting. They're not really what a TS woman would wear, especially out by the campfire, especially when she doesn't want to be taken for a transvestite. Second problem - in the crucial scene, where Bree's TS status is revealed to her newly found son, Bree's exhibitionist behaviour seems quite out of character. It would have been better all round if the son could have accidentally discovered her TS status by some less unlkkely means. The extra half point, by the way, would be for the sensible who-cares approach to the whole TS question. Collapse
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6
DeniseL.Jan 21, 2006
Although there were things about this movie that were quite plausible there were parts that were just too implausible. Felicity Huffman's role was beautifully played and really tugged at one's heart strings. But, some of the Although there were things about this movie that were quite plausible there were parts that were just too implausible. Felicity Huffman's role was beautifully played and really tugged at one's heart strings. But, some of the scenarios with her son were just too unbelievable to make it a truly great film. Expand
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4
emeraldcitySep 6, 2014
I suppose this film was created to draw attention to what a transgender person goes through in order to be a complete male to female transexual. I think the film fails on more levels than it succeeds on. Firstly they didm't use an actualI suppose this film was created to draw attention to what a transgender person goes through in order to be a complete male to female transexual. I think the film fails on more levels than it succeeds on. Firstly they didm't use an actual transgender person to play the part of the one in the film which is a joke in this day and age and secondly the film soft pedals the American Psychiatric Association definition of a transexual- a definition that was actually created by a tuberculosis specialist in America-not a psychologist or a psychiatrist-in 1960-completely disregarding earlier psychology/psychiatry work with the subject of transsexualism in Europe-not that it would matter now because times have changed so much since then. Worth mentioning and not addressed by the film the APA definition of transexual also treats the subject of sex change as an issue that applies to men who have done tough guy jobs but who now want to be the other sex and as such it is a complete joke. Also not dealt with by the film is that the US definition of transexual also fails to take into account that we no longer live in gender polarized times and that many males grow up any way they want to because that is the age we live in. WW2 didm't just end a few years ago. The filmmakers might think they are standing up for transgender but showing a 'transwoman' who looks like she just did her shift at the bomb factor in WW2 is nothing but scheisse of a different colour-as is the rest of this film. Does that 'draw attention to a problem ?' I'm not sure of it does-it sort of reinforces the problem aspect of things-in this viewers opinion. I guess you cannot be smart if you are not smart. Expand
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