Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Argentina/France/Spain, 2007. Historias Cinematograficas Cinemania, Wanda Visión S.A., Pyramide Films, Ministerio de Cultura, Cinéfondation, Fonds Sud. Screenplay by Lucia Puenzo, based on the short story Cinismo by Sergio Bizzio. Cinematography by Natasha Braier. Produced by Jose Maria Morales, Luis Puenzo. Music by Andres Goldstein, Daniel Tarrab. Production Design by Roberto Samuelle. Costume Design by Luisina Troncoso. Film Editing by Hugo Primero, Alex Zito. Toronto International Film Festival 2007.
Fifteen year-old intersex Alex has grown up on a remote Uruguayan island with her parents, where her father (Ricardo Darín) works as a marine biologist. Alex’s mother (Valeria Bertuccelli) has invited a surgeon and his wife to come and meet her daughter, knowing that Alex has stopped taking her feminization hormones and anticipating the possibility that she may choose to live her life as a man from this point on. Being a teenager in a small town is hard enough without such big decisions to make, complicated all the more by Alex’s hormones going into a spin by the surgeon’s equally frustrated teenage son, with whom she develops a relationship. This subtle, sometimes dour, drama by newcomer Lucia Puenzo (daughter of Luis Puenzo, director of the greatest Argentinean film of all time, The Official Story), is humourless but never dry, sensitively acted and directed with great skill and natural situations. Puenzo never exploits the plot for anything other than the opportunity to show a believable family struggling to stay close during a time of upheaval and change.