Transamerica - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Transamerica Reviews

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½ August 13, 2016
Honest and compelling with some gritty down to earth humour.
June 9, 2016
Excellent acting by Huffman in a movie that does not play on all the transgender drama it could have. The downplay of crusading cause here makes this film really more about family and acceptance by parents than anything else.
½ February 28, 2016
Critically acclaimed for Felicity Huffman's performance as a transgender woman, Transamerica sounded like a compelling examination of gender identity.

Transgender identity is a topic which is given far greater discussion in the modern day as awareness and education is on a steady incline. However, Transamerica is a total of ten years old by this point which signifies a greater awareness of such issues from a much earlier times. Transamerica is quite an interesting experience. It is not a perfect film, but it delivers brilliant insight and a great story to reach out to its audiences. Through the respectful direction of Duncan Tucker, Transamerica becomes a gentle experience which restrains the notion of melodrama so that its material is restrained without being subtle. As a means of establishing this mood, Transamerica ends up being a rather slow film which has to stretch its material so that it can ultimately constitute a feature length running time, but the 103 minutes of the film certainly never overstay their welcome. There are moments that drag on, but the true extent of meaning in the material lays its grace down on the experience.
Rather than turning its characters into simplistic archetypes, the relevance of the characters in Transamerica comes from the fact that they are two people lost and alone in the world. Due to their own complicated lives, Sabrina "Bree" Osbourne and Toby Wilkins are brought together by strange circumstances and left to fend for themselves in the world. The slowly developing bond between the pair is unpredictable due to the psychology behind each of them, and it allows for a versatile range of conflicts to occur between the two which effectively centres the heart of the entire film has being on a compelling relationship with enough sentiment to touch audiences in one way or another.
As with any road trip film, there are some comic elements in Transamerica which lighten the mood and render the material more accessible to viewers thanks to a lighthearted nature. Among its touching sentiments are some good moments of humour, making Transamerica an insightful and funny experience. However, some of the other story elements reliant on the road trip formula as less complimenting to Transamerica. Transamerica has a story which develops its main characters well, but the plot points just come and go with limited lasting impact on the characters themselves. Viewers will find themselves so caught up in the characters that they will most likely forget about how all the main plot points in the story are reduced to minor subplots, but it is clear that the structure of Transamerica is far from the same brilliance as the subject matter. The character development in Transamerica is very effective, but the story structure does not match up to it with the same credibility.
Being an independent production, Transamerica cannot distract viewers with many big-name celebrities and a lavish spectacle. The leaves the genuine drama of the script to carry the film which it certainly does, but in the end, it's the cast that are left to touch the audiences. Anyone can tell you that it's the Academy Award nominated performance of Felicity Huffman that really carries the film. With her gender identity being a part of her psychology without dominating everything about herself as a person, Sabrina "Bree" Osbourne. It's a key source of much of her emotional issues, but she doesn't hit viewers over the head with this notion. The entire film is very much an effort for her to remain strong despite the fact that inside she is burdened by anxious uncertainties about her life, finding meaning in the relationship she develops with her son. Felicity Huffman's efforts to restrain her line delivery as a means of not coming off as overly feminine pays off in her characterization since her careful work on voice articulation helps to limit the emotional input of her chemistry with Kevin Zegers, projecting a sense of complicated distance between the characters they play. The transgender identity of Bree Osbourne is very much internal for the character, and Felicity Huffman realizes this enough to deliver a restrained performance which depicts a clear internal struggle through small traits of her surface attitude. Felicity Huffman's performance is a beautiful product of subtlety with occasionally bursts of gripping emotion.
Kevin Zegers also makes a strong effort. Kevin Zegers finds realism in his role because instead of relying heavily on angst-ridden teenage cliches to anchor the loneliness of his character, he takes the role on with real heart and dedication. Toby Wilkins is as confused about existence as Bree Osbourne, and his refusal to reveal the full extent of his emotional side separates audiences from him. Yet over the course of the story we see small elements of him addressing the true side of himself that he has tried to hide from the world. Toby Wilkins is a very sympathetic character whose angst nature is far deeper than the archetype would usually allow.
As a huge fan of Burt Young's career in the first six Rocky films, I was gleeful at the sight of him in Transamerica. His supporting role is a small one where the majority of his role requires him to remain silent in the face of the transphobic rants of his wife, and he maintains this with a solemn grace. The wife in question is portrayed by Fionnula Flanagan who carries the stereotypical maternal nature of a mother contrasted by a bigoted attitude, carrying a pompous nature and intense chemistry with Felicity Huffman.
And Graham Greene also carries a really friendly nature which enlightens the mood of the experience amid all its drama, being the single friendly presence in the lost world of the characters. Graham Greene's naturally likable nature eases the mood of things and puts a sense of optimism into such a bleak tale.

Transamerica is a rich and fulfilling comedy-drama which capitalizes on its highly relevant subject matter through its frank realism and an incredible performance by Felicity Huffman, even if it is slightly stumped by the inconsistent story development of its conventional narrative structure and slow pace.
February 15, 2016
A real sleeper. Felicity Huffman plays a transsexual male who finds out he has a soon the week before the final surgery to change her physically into a woman, and she has to deal with that before she goes under the knife. It sounds really heavy, but it's done with a light touch, and still tells a very moving story. Felicity Huffman was nominated for an Oscar for this film.
February 2, 2016
2016-02-02 pretty good, funny at times
December 6, 2015
Disorganized soap opera, but featuring probably the best performance I have ever seen by Felicity Huffman.
October 15, 2015
felicity is beyond amazing , the story is beautiul and very touching!
October 13, 2015
I guess it's a okay movie with some humor and really awkward moments but some touching moments to compensate.
½ August 22, 2015
Funny,touching and quirky and well acted coming in story.
½ August 21, 2015
Felicity Huffman gives a very powerful performance in this movie, although I have to admit that I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't get a real Transgender actress to play the same role. I know that a lot has changed over the past few years and now a day's Trans people have become big stars and I suppose that many of them could have played this role, not that Huffman isn't convincing.
June 23, 2015
Forget Desperate Housewives. Felicity Huffman is INCREDIBLE in Transamerica. She deserves an Oscar for her role as a transsexual who finds out she's the father of a drug-addicted, prostitute son. A funny, moving motion picture.
½ March 31, 2015
Transsexuals aren't really a group of people that I can say I understand, but TRANSAMERICA did a pretty good job of helping me get what a trans person might go through. Felicity Huffman plays Bree, a pre-op transsexual woman who finds out she has a son that she fathered a long time ago. What ensues is a kind of road movie that shows how the relationship between that son and her develops. What really makes this film stand out is the excellent lead performance by Felicity Huffman who, despite being a woman, did a great job of portraying a pre-op transsexual. Maybe they could have gone with an actual trans person, but Felicity Huffman did just fine. I also thought the supporting cast did great as well. What didn't always work for me was some of the humor and situations that Bree and her son were put into. Due to being a road movie, the film also felt a bit episodic at times. And, when they arrive at Bree's parents' home the film got a little too melodramatic for my tastes. My favorite part of the film came before this part when Bree meets a kind Native American man in a bar after having her car stolen. He was able to see past Bree's exterior to what she was on the inside: a nice person deserving of respect just like everyone else. And I suppose if the film has a message that it wants to convey, it's that trans people are just as human as the rest of us and deserve the same respect afforded to everyone else who is "normal." Overall, I did enjoy the film although it goes some places dramatically that it didn't necessarily have to go. I don't really see this film having too wide of an audience, but this indie gem is well worth seeing nevertheless.
½ February 7, 2015
This film offers us the true meaning of what it is to be a person. It's not about the sex. It's about the rest: family, self-worth, and all those insignificant items that add up quickly to form one giant melting pot. This film touched on a deeper sensitivity of the understanding of transgender disorder that I haven't seen before.
½ February 7, 2015
Though it has the trappings of a typical road movie, "Transamerica" is unique in that it dares to try something different, especially with all it has to say about the transgender community. It's smart, funny, touching and real. Duncan Tucker's script is good, but Felicity Huffman is incredible in a role that is perfectly defined as juicy.
February 6, 2015
Parla di un argomento un po' controverso ma alla fine il film non è un granché e si salva solo per l'argomento trattato. Sembra un film di 10 anni prima per come è girato.
December 23, 2014
Great performances, script, and beautiful cinematography. Carrie Preston and Fionnula Flanagan steal the show at the end but Huffman and Zegers have great chemistry
November 22, 2014
Transamerica needed better dialogue, better humor and more meaningful scenes in the road trip, but it largely succeeds due to endearing characters, warm ending, realistic portrayals of characters and relationships and Felicity Huffman who is absolutely phenomenal, shines all the way through and she should have won an Oscar for this incredibly demanding role.
½ October 13, 2014
Good old Hollywood entertaining us at its best.
August 20, 2014
Wonderful performances and a powerful history. A unforgettable movie.
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