Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Monkey movie review

I confess, I am besotted with the young Argentine actress Ines Efron.  I first became aware of her a few months ago when I watched her in The Fish Child.  And now after seeing her in XXY I am ready to do her bidding no matter what the cost.  Want me to rob a bank Ms. Efron?  No problem.  Will bringing peace to the Middle East ease your ennui and get me in your good graces?  It's done.  Need someone to rub your feet after a long day on the set?  Tell me when and were I need to be and I'll be there.  But enough of my creepy old man crushings on a lovely young Latin actress, on to the movie review!

XXY is about a few momentous days in the life of a family that has an inter-sexed teenaged daughter named Alex.  Alex was born with a vagina and a penis and has been raised as a female by her parents but now that she's going through adolescence her penis is becoming an issue with her, her teenage peers, her parents, and the whole small coastal town in Uruguay where the film takes place.  Into the lives of this family come, at the behest of Alex's mother, a surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery, his wife and their teenage son.  Things get complicated when the kids fall for one another and the adults pressure Alex into deciding whether she is going to keep her penis and become a man or have it cut off and continue to be a woman.

This film is a very sweet melancholy story that's tastefully told.  It's sensitive to all parties concerned.  They don't go for easy solutions and they let the story play out with a minimum of histrionics and with a maximum of emotion.  Ms. Efron is brilliant as the tortured young woman with a little something extra and in her silences she says more than many actors twice her age and experience level.  Most things of a delicate nature are just talked about or hinted at, you never seen the penis/vagina in question, but Ms. Efron is topless quite a bit, which didn't bother me but I can see how it would others who watch this film, especially considering the fact that her character is supposed to be 15.

On another level this film is also about South American reaction to and acceptance of transgendered people in particular and gay folks in general.  Years ago it would have been unthinkable for the characters in this film to be so accepting of someone like Alex and the hinted at homosexuality of another character, now most all the characters not only accepted Alex and her situation, they were ready to support her if she kept her dick or had it cut off.  Only one character has a problem with homosexuality, the rest accept it as a part of life.

I really enjoyed this movie and I especially enjoyed Ms. Efron in it.  Being a former awkward teen who felt like a fish out of water in that backwards area I spent my teenage years in, I could not help but feel for Alex and what she was going through.  I imagine that being a teen is tough enough in today's world and being one with both sets of sex organs would make it tougher to the extreme. 

I recommend this film most highly. 

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