“Delightful was the first word that came to mind when the credits rolled. I’d been wanting to see this for a while, but just never got around to it. Felicity Huffman gives an Oscar nominated and truly insightful performance as Bree, a transgender individual who is just days away from the surgery that will complete her transition to being a woman. Unexpectedly, she finds out about a son she has on the other side of the country. She goes to pick him up and drive him back with her, without disclosing her identity, hoping to set him up with a better life as she’s ready to move on with hers.
Now, when I say it was delightful, don’t misunderstand me. This isn’t your classic comedic road trip with hijinx at every curve. It’s some pretty heavy stuff we’re dealing with, and most of the trip is very difficult for our travelers. But there’s a hopeful and joyous optimism to all of it. You care about what happens to these characters and you believe so much that they deserve to be happy.
And Huffman’s performance is one of the best I’ve ever seen. She would eventually lose the Oscar win to Reese Witherspoon, but I blame the higher profile of Walk the Line to Transamerica. I don’t think this was very widely seen, so the nomination was sufficient. This was also nearly ten years ago, where this sort of subject matter wasn’t dealt with too often. If today it would be considered timely and on point, ten years ago it would be considered very progressive and ahead of its time. Bear in mind, this is the same year that Brokeback Mountain lost best picture to Crash. Don’t even get me started on that rant, but it should give you an idea of where Hollywood’s mindset was at the time. Open to exploring certain subject matter, but not ready to fully embrace it.
Now that we’re where we are and that transgender issues are becoming more prominent, I highly recommend this film. The story may be fictional, but I’m sure it echoes many real ones.”