In Transamerica Felicity Huffman delivers a knockout performance as Bree Osborne, a pre operative transexual who is on the verge of getting that final operation. This is one of those big meaty roles that has actors dreaming of Oscar nominations and in fact Huffman got one.

She deserved it too. She plays a man so uncomfortable in his own body that the movie is almost painful to watch, especially at the beginning. At first I thought she was too mannered, but then I got used to it and began to appreciate her choices. Huffman has long been one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood. This role should raise her profile. Of course being in Desperate Housewives doesn’t hurt either.

Her performance is set in a serviceable melodrama about Bree discovering that she’s a father and having to travel to New York to bail the now grown kid out of jail and take him to California. It’s almost like, of course, what else would you have this character do? The plot is just good enough to allow Huffman’s performance to shine.

I should also add that Kevin Zegers delivers a good performance as Toby, the aforementioned son, who has his own problems. He does a good job of gradually letting us see Toby’s good traits and vulnerabilities, that get us past the awful first impression we have of the character.

But Transamerica is Felicity Huffman’s film. It is a role that she’ll be remembered for for a long time.


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May 2006
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