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AFI Fest 2013 Highlight: Veteran Dern Tribute at Chinese Theatre on Monday

Bruce Dern in ‘Nebraska’: AFI Fest 2013 highlight The Los Angeles-based AFI Fest, which kicked off last Thursday, November 7, 2013, continues until next Thursday. On Monday, November 11, the highlight of AFI Fest 2013 is Alexander Payne’s Nebraska (7:00 p.m. at Tcl Chinese Theatre), likely to earn a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for veteran Bruce Dern, who earlier this year took home the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. (Photo: Bruce Dern, Will Forte in Nebraska.) Set in Kentucky (kidding), Nebraska accompanies an elderly man (Dern) and his son (Will Forte) as they travel from Billings, Montana, to Lincoln, Nebraska, so he can collect sweepstakes prize money he believes he has won. In sum, Nebraska is what’s called a Road Movie, in which the Road is a metaphor for Life. Shades of brothers Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise getting to know one another in Barry Levinson’s Rain Man,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top 100 Greatest Gay Movies

  • The Backlot
Brace yourselves. This list of the Top 100 Greatest Gay Movies is probably going to generate some howls of protest thanks to a rather major upset in the rankings. Frankly, one that surprised the hell out of us here at AfterElton.

But before we get to that, an introduction. A few weeks ago we asked AfterElton readers to submit up to ten of their favorite films by write-in vote. We conducted a similar poll several years ago, but a lot has happened culturally since then, and a number of worthy movies of gay interest have been released. We wanted to see how your list of favorites had changed.

We also wanted to expand our list to 100 from the top 50 we had done previously. We figured there were finally enough quality gay films to justify the expansion. And we wanted to break out gay documentaries onto their own list (You'll find the
See full article at The Backlot »

Feature: The Best of the Cast of "Nothing Like the Holidays"

To mark the release of Overture Films' "Nothing like the Holidays" comedy, we've thrown together a list films we remember the leading cast members the most by. Have your own list? Add it for others see below. “Nothing Like the Holidays” stars Alfred Molina, Elizabeth Peña, John Leguizamo, Debra Messing, Freddy Rodriguez, Jay Hernandez, Melonie Diaz, Vanessa Ferlito and Luis Guzman. Release is set for December 12. For those unfamiliar with the story, read below, otherwise, please feel free skip past to the list. What’s it about? If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that family time isn’t always a walk in the park. In Nothing Like the Holidays, two of today’s most talented actors, John Leguizamo (The Happening, The Take) and Freddy Rodriguez (“Six Feet Under,” Bobby), join Debra Messing (“Will & Grace,” “The Starter Wife”), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code, Spider-Man 2
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

GLAAD hails 'Transamerica'

Duncan Tucker's Transamerica was named the outstanding film in limited release at the 17th annual GLAAD Media Awards, , held Saturday night at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. Brokeback Mountain had been named outstanding wide release film at GLAAD's New York ceremonies, which took place March 27. At the Los Angeles event, Showtime's The L Word was honored as outstanding drama series, while NBC's Will & Grace, which is in its last season, was presented the award for outstanding comedy series.

GLAAD hails 'Transamerica'

GLAAD hails 'Transamerica'
Duncan Tucker's "Transamerica" was named the outstanding film in limited release at the 17th annual GLAAD Media Awards, held Saturday night at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. "Brokeback Mountain" had been named outstanding wide release film at GLAAD's New York ceremonies, which took place March 27. At the Los Angeles event, Showtime's "The L Word" was honored as outstanding drama series, while NBC's "Will & Grace," which is in its last season, was presented the award for outstanding comedy series.

Parton Attending Oscars Without Husband

  • WENN
Country superstar Dolly Parton will be walking the red carpet without her husband Carl Dean on Oscar night - because he refuses to attend the glitzy awards show as her date. The singer, whose "Travelin' Thru'" tune from hit film Transamerica is nominated in the Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures category, had hoped to take her husband, but ultra-private Dean will not be joining her. Parton says, "My date's gonna be Duncan Tucker, the writer/director of Transamerica, because he's just such a wonderful guy and he'll make a good escort. My husband wouldn't go anyway, so I'd either have to find somebody else's husband or take Duncan." And Parton insists she isn't going to let her husband's anti-social behavior upset her big night. She adds, "I'm gonna walk the red carpet and do all that stuff and get a chance to see some of those big movie stars I've always wanted to meet. I'm gonna make a night of it."

Interview: Duncan Tucker

  • From East to West, from father to mother, from man to woman, from prostitute to porn star - these are just some of the many transformations that take place in Transamerica (2005)Transamerica
[/link]. This road movie peers into the life a transsexual woman in the final stages of her change into a full bodied woman. Right before she gets her final surgery, she finds out she fathered a child some years back and now she must make amends with her past before she can complete her transformation. Bree is a hard worker who has been saving for a surgical operation that will give her the body of a woman. After years of taking hormones, this final operation will complete her. Right before her psychologist gives her legal consent, Bree finds out that she fathered a young boy, Toby, about to be released from jail, and Bree’s doctor holds the consent
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Transamerica

Transamerica
On the big screen, "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman often has been relegated to the supporting category of friend/sister/neighbor. With the poignant and often deliriously funny road-trip feature "Transamerica", she steps into the challenging lead role of a solitary, preoperative transsexual and delivers an extraordinary portrait. The film marks an auspicious debut for writer-director Duncan Tucker, whose fresh, character-driven story-telling should make this December release from the Weinstein Co. an art house favorite.

Whatever it says about the zeitgeist, the theme of unexpected fatherhood has informed the work of a number of filmmakers this year, among them Jim Jarmusch ("Broken Flowers"), Wim Wenders ("Don't Come Knocking") and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne ("L'Enfant"). In this case, the reluctant but curious dad who learns he has a son happens to be a woman in tasteful pastels. The transgender spin avoids gimmickry thanks to Tucker's deft touch and the subtle work of Huffman and the rest of the pitch-perfect cast, especially Kevin Zegers as the lost-and-found offspring.

Gender politics is an element of the film but by no means its subject. Tucker's concerns are loneliness, emotional honesty and the simple need for human kindness. Bree, nee Stanley (Huffman), is self-contained in her little Los Angeles bungalow, and her closest friend is her compassionate therapist, Margaret (Elizabeth Pena). A week before the ultimate surgical step in her gender transformation, she receives a phone call from a 17-year-old New York inmate who claims to be Stanley's son. Single-minded in her countdown to the operating room, Bree dismisses the unwanted disruption, but Margaret refuses to OK the medical procedure until Bree goes to New York to address the matter.

Bree bails out the brooding Toby (Zegers) but hasn't the nerve to divulge why she's there and plays along when he assumes she's a church missionary. A photograph confirms that the boy, a good-looking street hustler who ran away from home after his mother died, is the product of a college coupling, and a sense of responsibility takes hold of Bree. Instead of flying home, she buys a chartreuse station wagon to drive Toby cross-country to Los Angeles, where he expects to find his father living large and hopes to break into movies -- of the San Fernando Valley sort.

Bree maintains her "deep stealth" (living as a genetic female), keeping two secrets from Toby -- her biological history and his. She's a fascinating character, and Huffman brilliantly embodies the complex layers of self-awareness and denial in this prim yet gutsy individual, who each day must paint on a face and put on a voice to become more truly herself. Self-consciousness is a constant, as the film powerfully demonstrates when a child's innocent but discerning question plunges Bree into despair.

As a boy who considers sex his chief talent, Zegers (of the "Air Bud" films and last year's "Dawn of the Dead" remake) conveys Toby's essential sweetness and hunger for real affection, making him much more than just a vain or damaged kid.

Instead of settling into quirky odd-couple shtick, the film is full of unexpected turns, with every character the duo encounters surprising and well observed, from a free-spirited hitcher (Grant Monohon) to a New Mexico rancher (Graham Greene) who gallantly comes to Bree's assistance, more than a bit smitten.

Tucker's astute script and direction weave laugh-out-loud humor into his characters' longing for acceptance, particularly when their journey takes them to the Phoenix McMansion of Bree's family -- whose kitsch collectibles, part of Mark White's excellent production design, supply one of the funniest moments in the film. You don't have to be a transsexual to understand the way Bree's parents (Fionnula Flanagan and Burt Young) and sister (Carrie Preston) feed her self-doubt. But even the wonderful Flanagan's turquoise-bedecked, monstrously materialistic Elizabeth is afforded her humanity because Duncan lets emotions unfold instead of merely scoring points and moving on.

David Mansfield's Americana-tinged score underlines the optimism and the plaintiveness of a journey that's memorably captured in director of photography Stephen Kazmierski's sensitive camerawork.

TRANSAMERICA

The Weinstein Co.

Belladonna Prods. production

Credits:

Screenwriter-director: Duncan Tucker

Producers: Linda Moran, Rene Bastian, Sebastian Dungan

Executive producer: William H. Macy

Director of photography: Stephen Kazmierski

Production designer: Mark White

Music: David Mansfield

Costume designer: Danny Glicker

Editor: Pam Wise

Cast:

Bree: Felicity Huffman

Toby: Kevin Zegers

Elizabeth: Fionnula Flanagan

Margaret: Elizabeth Pena

Calvin: Graham Greene

Murray: Burt Young

Sydney: Carrie Preston

Arletty: Venida Evans

Hitchhiker: Grant Monohon

Running time -- 103 minutes

No MPAA rating

IFC partners in 'Transamerica'

IFC partners in 'Transamerica'
IFC Films will share the weight of distributing Duncan Tucker's controversial film Transamerica with the Weinstein Co. The two companies will co-distribute the film domestically, with IFC being responsible for theater bookings and the Weinstein Co. handling the marketing and print costs of the film. Starring Felicity Huffman, Transamerica bowed at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, where Huffman won an acting award. It centers on Bree (Huffman), a born-again Christian and a preoperative male-to-female transsexual, who flies to New York after she discovers she has a son from an unlikely encounter. The Weinstein Co. acquired the film shortly after the festival. "When the opportunity came along to partner with Bob and Harvey Weinstein on 'Transamerica, ' we jumped at the chance," IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring said.

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