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Tangerine review
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Tangerine

Meet Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), a trans sex worker fresh off a 28-day prison stint as she embarks on an odyssey across Los Angeles. Her mission? To confront her cheating pimp/boyfriend (James Ransome) and the “real fish” (translation: cisgender female, played by Mickey O’Hagan) he slept with while she was locked away. Joining her mission is Alexandra (Mya Taylor), Sin-Dee’s best friend and fellow trans sex worker, and Razmik (Karren Karaguilan), a cab driver with a predilection for trans sex workers.

 

Tangerine is a lot in a short running time, much of it the sight of Sin-Dee hoisting Dinah, the “fish,” across town in order to confront Chester, said boyfriend. She can’t carry around her dead carcass, so the foul-mouthed, barely dressed living presence will have to do. Sin-Dee’s single-minded trek across the city’s demimonde is an aggressively spinning top that threats to fly off destructive chaos at several points.

 

Eventually these various threads come together in a donut shop, but it’s the journey that’s far more entertaining than the destination. The more Tangerine tries to tie Razmik into the other stories, the more it forces a defeating sense of gravitas into a film that’s primary mood and mode of expression is anarchy, spontaneity, and sisterhood’s healing power in the face of overwhelming adversity. The less time we spend with the professional actors in the film the better as Tangerine’s sense of verisimilitude and empathy expressed primarily through the points-of-view of Sin-Dee and Alexandra remains the greatest strength.

 

The professional actors feel like people playing dress up and spouting off pre-scripted dramatics, while Taylor and Rodriguez feel authentically real in front of the camera. It’s a strange bit of alchemy, but their very lack of actorly polish is their greatest virtue and asset. They emerge as real people from the place beyond the margins of society. They not only get the chance to shine in Tangerine, but they drive the narrative and show the validity of their expression, personhood, and the warmth of their friendship when all else has fallen away.

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Added by JxSxPx
6 days ago on 11 January 2019 21:47