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52 Tuesdays (Sophie Hyde, 2013) wr. Matthew Cormack, Sophie Hyde; Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Del Bert, Imogen Archer; family drama: gender reassignment; Adelaide FF, October 2013; art; Aust release 1 May 2014
A teenage girl's sexual awakening coincides with her mother's gender transition in 52 Tuesdays, an Australian indie with an unusual narrative gimmick: It was shot over 52 consecutive Tuesdays, and only on Tuesdays, to capture a year of life onscreen. Boasting breakout talent both in front of and behind the camera (tyro director Sophie Hyde picked up a helming prize at Sundance), this accessible and mildly provocative drama could do sturdy arthouse business in the U.S. and other English-speaking territories. Geoff Berkshire, Variety.
52 Tuesdays is certainly unique and that carries much creative weight; it also contains dramatic tension, but that is rationed and uneven - especially in the first half - so that it is a tad laboured as it develops. There is certainly much to explore and discuss. Andrew L. Urban, urbancinefile.
This strikingly unusual film about a young girl's reaction to her mother's change into a man is most beautifully acted by Tilda Cobham-Harvey, who has a terrific screen presence. That's not to say that the other characters aren't also well portrayed, including Del Herbert-James who identifies as non-gender conforming in real life. Director Sophie Hyde and screenwriter Matthew Cormack, working from a story they wrote together, are tackling bold material here, though they tend to concentrate more on Billie's sexual experiments than on the potentially more interesting lifestyle changes of James, who takes a female lover, played by Danica Moors. The wild card is Nick, Mario Spate, James' brother, whose role in the proceedings isn't always clear. The filmmakers claim to have filmed only on Tuesdays over a year, and the annoyingly brief actuality images that accompany the dates of each Tuesday are a reminder of the world outside the claustrophobic lives of these fascinating characters. David Stratton, ABC.
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