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XXY

XXY (2007)

tomatometer

82

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 8

This sharp directorial debut by Lucia Puenzo treats the challenging subject of intersexuality with intelligence and sensitivity.

84

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 3

This sharp directorial debut by Lucia Puenzo treats the challenging subject of intersexuality with intelligence and sensitivity.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 5,103

My Rating

Movie Info

Lucia Puenzo's drama XXY probes the psychological aftereffects that adolescent transsexuality can yield. With a name easily applicable to either gender, young teenager Alex's (Ines Efron) hermaphroditic physiology causes a massive identity crisis and severe emotional withdrawal. The problems create social problems in the family's home of Argentina and virtually force Alex and his/her sympathetic parents, Kraken (Ricardo Darín) and Suli (Valeria Bertuchelli) to move to nearby Uruguay, at a point

Unrated,

Drama

Oct 14, 2008

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (8) | DVD (1)

Moody and thoughtful.

December 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie's images are frequently startling, its performances sharply observed and quirky, and its take on its subject matter undeniably provocative.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: NPR.org
NPR.org
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Trim and briskly paced, XXY is sometimes difficult to watch, but Puenzo lets the actors explore a full range of emotions.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

XXY is the first film to address intersex identity with graceful compassion, and [director] Puenzo tells Alex's story with simple, honest and forthright integrity.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is not a message picture, never lectures, contains partial nudity but avoids explicit images and grows into a poignant human drama.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lucía Puenzo's XXY is as finely crafted as a great work of literature.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even when the film overdoses on its own downcastness or on dubious similes and symbolisms, you can feel why the characters as well as the filmmakers are humbled in more than one way by the conceptual intricacies and the high emotional stakes of the essent

February 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Puenzo goes beyond medical melodrama with a talented ensemble of Argentine actors who make this weird tale breathe.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

treats gender issues with a hand so delicate you feel sad for everyone involved

November 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Unexpected and wonderfully thoughtful.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

The struggles of those around Alex are equally moving.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

A contrived screenplay dilutes the unique story.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

With 'XXY,' Argentinean writer-director Lucía Puenzo takes what could have been a movie-of-the week subject and instead delivers a thoughtful and deeply moving tale.

October 13, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

The good news is that this is an intelligent drama that is in no way exploitative.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Despite its sometimes creepy tentativeness, XXY succeeds as a meditation on gender and sexuality, one that refuses an easy answer to the question, 'Is it a boy or a girl?'

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

To the director's credit, what could have been a clinical study or fact-based medical case instead unfolds as a touching coming of age tale focusing on the tender romantic angle.

June 27, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A tale that could have been handled with condescending simplicity becomes a testament to the flawed but noble humanity of both parents and children.

May 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

...comes off as a well-intentioned yet hopelessly uneven effort...

May 17, 2008
Reel Film Reviews

An engrossing Argentinean film about a 15-year-old intersex youth who struggles with both her masculine and feminine identities.

May 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for XXY

What an excellent movie!! Being a teenager is hard enough without all that this poor kid had to deal with. This a well done movie, and told the story that it intended to very nicely.
October 22, 2012
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

XXY is a coming of age film, but with an interesting and provocative twist; the main character is a hermaphrodite. This may be shocking to some, but I found this aspect of the film, as well as that of the parallel coming of age tale of the visiting male teen, quite interesting. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the dialog of the film (or the translation of the dialog to be specific). The film tend to dawdle, spending too much time creating atmosphere and a feeling of normalcy (like showing a family dinner with friends where absolutely nothing happens to move the story along).

The story of the she/he is told well however. She (for that is how "it" is perceived) is wrestling with her identity and is considering the male aspects of her physiology. She experiments being the "dominant" with a slightly older boy - a family friend who is also struggling with his identity (he may have gay tendencies, or is just curious... the film smartly leaves that to the imagination of the viewer).

Thrown into the mix are the feelings of both sets of parents - from she/he's father, who has moved the family from Argentina to a remote fishing village in Uruguay to protect her/him; and really simply wants her to decide who she wants to be and will accept that decision - to the visiting "friends" (a relationship that seems very tenuous at best). The father of the visiting boy has turned his back on his son as he believes the boy does indeed have a hankering for other boys. He is also a surgeon, and insinuates that he would be happy to take a little snip at the "daughter's" problem.

If this all sounds intriguing, it is. But the pace and some of the directorial decisions seem to muck up the matter. Just as there is curiosity when she/he's secret is revealed to a friend, who makes the mistake of telling the secret to his chums, the ultimate payoff of the film seems rather flat, with all the sexual tension and confusion between the boy and "girl" reduced to an odd, "wanna see it?" question. That the boy doesn't respond (and the film shows a close-up of his face, which displays NOTHING), you wonder what the message was - man, this climax could have been handled so much better!

I'd also like to mention that the synopsis presented by RT is incorrect - she/he is NOT saved from the rape by her father Kraken - she is saved by the local boy she told the secret to.
January 1, 2012
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Simplistic, yet effective. Covering a rare, but intriguing subject matter and creating a realistic style film and conveying feelings and emotions through acting rather than the dialogue.
March 10, 2010
76Majikat

Super Reviewer

An intimate, poignant human drama about intersexuality, XXY appropriately avoids easy answers and resolutions; it is subtle, sensitive, mostly silent, and has some outstanding performances by Ricardo Darín and Inés Efron.
December 15, 2009
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

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