There's a reason Felicity Huffman's lead performance is the only element of Transamerica that's getting any awards play: Nothing else about the film is especially noteworthy. As Bree Osbourne, a transsexual about to complete the transition from male to female, Huffman nails the exaggerated daintiness that only a man can bring to being a woman. But the story, which puts Bree on an uncomfortable road trip with a son she'd rather not acknowledge, keeps directing its pseudo-inflammatory scenarios into one tepid punch line after another. (She's a man, but she sure knows her makeup! Yawn.) By the time we get to a contrived standoff between Bree and her disapproving mother (Fionnula Flanagan, whose hammy histrionics don't even pass film-festival muster), there's no choice but to write off Transamerica as a potentially significant motion picture that decided to be a Very Special sitcom episode instead.
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