Movie Review : 52 Tuesdays

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52 Tuesdays is being shown as part of the shOUT! Film Festival. You can find details here.

Billie (Cobham-Hervey) is 16 years old when she finds out she will be living with her father Tom (Williams) while her mother James (Herbert-Jane) transitions from female to male. She receives the news with that deceptively nonchalant bemusement that many teenagers do oh so well. It’s clear that her mother has struggled with the decision to send Billie to her dad’s so they decide that they will meet every Tuesday to spend quality time alone together.

Over the next 52 Tuesdays we watch two women, both on the cusp of new lives, forge ahead with their new identities and try to rebuild their now faltering parent/child relationship.

Bille has always know her mum was gay but her desire to gender transition leaves the teenager reeling. Of course, she tries desperately to mask her feelings and strides headlong into a sexually charged relationship with 2 school friends Jasmine (Archer) and Josh (Althuizen). Billie films many of their conversations and encounters as she escapes further and further into this relationship with her friends. I found it very telling that she chose to document her own awkward, fumbling transition to womanhood and not James’ transition to manhood.

Parallel to all this, James is moving confidently and surely into his own new reality. He begins the process by living as a man and we are privy to counselling sessions, hormones and their repercussions and all that goes along with this transition. James’s story is moving and, at times, heartbreaking.

And then there are Tuesdays. I understand the Director really did film only on Tuesdays and you can see that realness shine through. Both Billie and James go through physical changes that are more than just cosmetic and the year long filming captures it all beautifully.

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You all know I love me some Aussie movie…….and I REALLY love me some Aussie indie movie. And I loved this one.

I watched it a few nights ago and sat on the review for a few days because I found myself thinking about it quite a lot. The word authentic is used a few times in the movie and that is what I will use to describe it. Authentic.

It’s filming is authentic, Tuesdays only. I cant decide if it’s a stroke of genius or completely OCD. Whatever it is…..it works.

The characters are authentic. These people live next door, their kids go to school with your kids. I liked that this was not a showcase for either teenage angst or gender transition. It is simply 2 women going through some major transitions in each of their lives and coping with it all, and with each other, the best they could. I found both Billie and James brave and poignant in their own unique ways.

I would be remiss to not mention the amazing young Tilda Cobham-Hervey. Wow……just wow. This girl will surely cause many people to sit up and take notice. She reminded me very much of another young and supremely talented Australian actress, Mia Wasikowska. A girl to watch.

I hope many people will come along to one of the 5 screenings at the shOUT! Film Festival or catch this movie during its cinema run. Always support your local industry

Love Flick xx

 

Director :   Sophie Hyde

Starring :   Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Del Herbert-Jane, Mario Späte, Beau Travis Williams, Imogen Archer, Sam Althuizen, Danica Moors

Running Time :  109 minutes

Release Date :  1 May 2014

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