Opening 8 Dec 2016
Often amusing and witty, thanks to Susan Sarandon as Dolly, the film deals with a difficult situation with heart and empathy. Sixteen-year-old Ramona calls herself Ray (Elle Fanning). She discovered she was meant to be a boy when she was three or four and has been fighting against all the conventional “girl stuff” ever since.
Ray and her mother, Maggie (Naomi Watts -- excellent in the part), live with Ray’s grandmother, Dolly, and Dolly’s partner, Frances (Linda Edmond), who both think Ray should just be a lesbian, as they are, and leave it at that. But Ray is adamant -- she wants the hormones to transform her into a boy. To give her the hormones, Maggie must find Ray’s father, whom she has not seen since Ray was born, to sign the forms. Even more difficult, Maggie has to accept that Ray, at 16, is old enough emotionally to make this life-changing decision. It gets a lot more complicated than you can imagine before the film ends.
Despite an excellent, emotional performance, Fanning, as Ray, is just too pretty. She has naturally red lips, which often look like she is wearing lipstick, and she a very feminine young woman. Perhaps this was the director’s intention, as clearly, Ray needs the hormones if she is to be a young man. This is a “feel good” film one should see. (Adele Riepe)