Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for intense adult situations
Run Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Felicity Huffman earns every gilded inch of her recently acquired Golden Globe for her portrayal of a transgendered male getting up close and personal with his feminine side.
Bree Osborne (Huffman) is a pre-operative transsexual impatiently waiting for the day when her new physical self can join her psyche in spiritual harmony. She presents herself as a woman with grace, dignity, and really bad fashion sense.
Bree a nasty hand when a caller informs her than an old love affair resulted in
a son (Kevin Segers as Toby) who is holed up in a
Forced to face up to her past Bree flies East and, posing as a Christian missionary, convinces Toby to drive back with her to Kentucky to reunite with his estranged stepfather. She neglects to tell Toby that she is his father.
What starts as a transgender drama turns family affair, a road trip saturated with unexpectedly comic hurdles and pockets of psychological dynamite ready to blow.
The pair makes their way across country in a beat-up station wagon and chip away at each other’s facades; the besieged masquerader and the insouciant drifter conjoined by DNA and the fickle fingers of fate.
Huffman is positively stunning as a fragile man/woman with something to win and everything to lose. Her dogged attitude (gender-gifted not gender-challenged) infuses the story, even its sillier bits, with a poignant accessibility. The film circumvents treacly lessons in tolerance and rewards itself with the resonance of re-birth and second chances.