Duncan Tucker, 2005, USA, (103 mins)
Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Graham Greene
When male-to-female transsexual Bree (Huffman) discovers she has a 17-year-old son, Toby (Zegers), she must reconcile her past before undergoing the operation that will finally make her a woman. Terrified of telling the truth, Bree poses as a missionary, bailing Toby out of jail and taking him on a road trip, which takes their father/mother and son relationship down some bizarre moral avenues.
Transamerica is an involving drama that sensitively deals with gender dysphoria and the performative nature of family structures. The film has an indie ruggedness, boasting an unforgettable performance by Desperate Housewives’ Huffman who constantly touches and inspires as Bree finds affirmation in femininity. Toby’s journey is told with deft skill by writer/director Tucker, as the teenager’s yearning for an idealised father is pitted against the discovery that his dad is a she-to-be. This human and moving story finds relief in unexpected humour. Alison Cain