Saturday, July 1, 2017

1034. Tangerine

Directed by Sean Baker

I am completely flummoxed that this is being described as a comedy.  I suppose the way it is filmed invites the audience to laugh at the characters as they are screaming in Donut Times or getting urine thrown on them but man.   I found this movie to be incredibly disturbing (not Flaming Creatures level disturbing, but still).  However, I do think it is worth a watch and deserves praise for representing a very underrepresented subculture.

Sin-Dee Rella, a transgender prostitute, has just finished a month long prison sentence.  She and her friend Alexandra, another transgender prostitute, catch up at a donut shop.  Alexandra accidentally lets slip that Sin-Dee Rella's pimp/fiance has been cheating on her with a cisgender prostitute.  Sin-Dee Rella is intent on revenge.  Ultimately, it would have been more satisfying if she had gotten revenge the First Wives Club way of uniting against the common douche, but instead she focuses on making the other woman pay.  Sigh.

So this is dirty realism at its finest.  It didn't feel like other movies where it seems the filmmakers are determined to make the audience as miserable as possible (I haven't seen it but I imagine that's what Precious was like).  Instead, it felt voyeuristic; they weren't ramming a sob story down our throats.  In fact, it ended (somewhat) optimistically.

This is one that I have to sit with, but for now, I will go with four stars.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Title of the film is a reference to the color of the Los Angeles sky at sunset.

Mya Taylor was just starting to take female hormones when production started.

Shot on three iPhones.


  1. This was was interesting .. I don't know if I remember another film where I started hating it and (what, at first, came over as) the loud, mouthy, self obsessed obnoxious characters, but rapidly changed my mind and ended up loving it and them, (and feeling bad about my initial reaction) . But I think the film was structured to achieve exactly that response.
    I would have appreciated subtitles, certainly at the beginning.
    I have 'precious' on a disc from the telly, and keep avoiding watching it .. Should I ?

  2. No don't avoid it Ray! The film is not perfect but the performances are too great to miss!

    (Haven't seen this Tangerine so got nothing to contribute yet haha)

  3. Thanks Ashley ,, It sits there reproaching me say 'watch me, go on, watch me'...

  4. I have no doubt Precious is a quality film; I am just afraid that seeing it will ruin my life. Not that I'm being dramatic...

  5. Haha! No I get it I was sitting sobbing really really loudly when I watching it...luckily no one was home lol