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The suitup don't make the man, OR: my purse, my hormones! You dirty motherfucking hippie!

Our Review

I sense that many a monocle has been popped: dude looks like a lady, all ostinato in the act of suiting. The state of Denmark, dig. Not to get all meta (don't mind if I do!), but Transamerica yarns the story of Bree, who is technically still Stanley at time of scene, who is really the incomparable--and almost unrecognizable--entirely XX chromo's Felicity Huffman, stuffing and faux-tucking herself into character. Jame Gumb, your ladyposing was for naught.

I was interested in a review of this particular suit up because A: homegirl gives more thought to her figure and anointing her membranes than I do pre-flight from home and B: it represents more than just the prep for mayhem and kicking various asses into crudish smithereens. The simple act of watching a person ready themselves for the world seems uninspiring enough--I'd like to think we all at least put on clean skivvies and brush our shit on the regs prior to interactin' and conversatin' (or conversate, the rap malaprop). But it is not about the transformation into someone else for Bree; it is the manifestation of the person already there, the Freudian struggle she fisticuffs daily between ego and cultural super-ego, constantly skirting the id in a swash of pink overload.

Which adds to the perplexity of the scene, so carefully choreographed to express the obvious feminine excess while conveying that the heart is in the right sink. The clothes don't make the man, but do they make the woman? A slippery slope to sled to sexism.

C.S. Lewis would be appropriating an aneurysm. Lipstick: check. Nylons: check. Invitations? All types of subscription beggary in them there magazines: mate. Careful and meticulous sits the camera, almost to the point of redundant exhaustion as it watches. Here comes the pretty, wait for it! But the viewer is likely left a little at loss; obvious strides have been taken to remove from Huffman any of her most overtly feminine qualities. Simply put: yikes. Watching Bree dote her wiles in the mirror is a moment fraught with an ickity sadness; we are judging her attempts and commitment (and in a way, her dignity) based on the preconditions we culturally keep and Bree so desperately aspires. And look, let us loose it into the internet open--shit is not maiden fair. She's frumpy, okay. This is pointed and reflexive; does she dress so suffocatingly, femininely rigid as a representation of that ego? Is she cartoonish or sincere? Is this her peace? Or is this another struggle she is fighting, that to pass for the bonafide she must strictly abide to pre-Steinem regulations? It's a call for viewer response: the answer lies between Bree and the individual audience, one that relies on the rest of the film for context.

Bree's suit up is a poignant one, a personal psychology made intimately public. Soylent green is Stiegler's individuation leftovers! Leftovers! And in Transamerica, they bear the side quease of Glamour.