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Volume 34
Issue 05
 
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Transamerica is a warm human story about a journey through heart and land, while Woody Allen thrills fans in Match Point
Transamerica is a warm human story about a journey through heart and land, while Woody Allen thrills fans in Match Point
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Transamerica

Directed by Duncan Tucker

Starring: Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan, Elizabeth Pena, Graham Greene

Now playing

Match Point

Directed by Woody Allen

Starring: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton, Emily Mortimer

Now playing

Talking to director Duncan Tucker last year about the making of 'Transamerica', it was obvious that his subject matter in the film, that of a man (played by Felicity Huffman of 'Desperate Housewives') clearly humbled him. He stated in the SGN interview that he was unfamiliar with the subject matter of male to female Transsexuals, and had done extensive research as he was making the film. And it clearly showed in the film, that not only did Tucker work with actual Transsexuals, but that he treated his subject matter with a dignity rarely shown in Hollywood when making films outside of the mainstream.

The film follows Bree (Huffman in her Golden Globe winning performance) as she is days away from getting the surgery that will fully transform her into the woman she's always wanted to be, as she travels with the son she has just been made aware of (Kevin Zegers). The two are like prickly with each other, having been in situations where boundaries were violated-we find out later in the film that her son, who was raised by foster parents after she (who was then a he) gave him up for adoption-was abused by his stepfather. And yet, they come to need each other, finding as they travel, that they are more alike than different and discover a bond neither of them realized was possible.

An - at times - hilarious film, 'Transamerica' is a joyfully raw and poetic journey into the human soul and the ability we all have to forgive and rise above the sum of our parts, whatever they happen to be at birth. I loved this film and would gladly see it over and over again, so I could laugh and cry all over again, and I highly recommend seeing it before the Oscars, so you too can know why it's getting so much buzz and in so many winner's circles.

And even though (as far as I know as of this writing), 'Match Point' isn't being cited for any awards, it is definitely the best Woody Allen film I've ever seen. In fact, after not being a huge fan of the quirky director, particularly after his Soon Yee episode, I'm putting my hat in the rig, and declaring that I am now a fan. And believe me, that's saying quite a lot, but this film is worthy of my admiration and that of fans who were disappointed by some of his past flops.

The film starts out on a delicate edge, with ex-tennis pro, Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) taking a job at a wealthy, British country club and immediately traipsing into forbidden territory by falling for the fiance of the man he's coaching (Scarlett Johansson and Matthew Goode).

And though she tries to resist the budding passion she feels for him, the two end up in a secret affair, which continues even after Chris is married to the sister of the man, Tom, he'd been teaching, who now is broken up with Nola, the hot fiance (Johansson). Ah, but all of this passion has to end in blood and tears and of course, being an illicit affair, it does, only not the way I had expected when the film first started. Which is the brilliance of 'Match Point'. Heck, see it more than once, if only because Johansson has never looked sexier or more desirable paired with the hunky Rhys-Meyers in passionate scene after passionate scene.

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