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TRANSAMERICA

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Felicity Huffman is generating well-deserved buzz for her gender-bending role as a man on the brink of his sexual-reassignment surgery. In all but the groin area, he, who goes by Bree, is a she, and Huffman does a bang-up job of capturing the inherent awkwardness of a woman who is still physically burdened by being a man. In Duncan Tucker's dramedy, Bree flies to NYC to collect the troubled teen-age son, Toby (Kevin Zegers), she never knew she had, and the two undertake an odyssey back to the West Coast; Toby thinks Bree is a helpful missionary. The film's novelty of transsexuality can't quite pave over that you've seen this road movie a million times before -- as the Americana miles roll by, characters will surely come to know themselves and each other. That said, Tucker makes an intriguing debut -- and Huffman surely owes him for hauling her out of the mire of Desperate Housewives. Squirrel Hill (AH)

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