Sunday, September 13, 2015

TIFF 2015: About Ray

About Ray stars Elle Fanning as Ray, a 15 year old trans boy struggling with his transition and looking for more support from his family as he prepares to start taking testosterone to get his body to better match who he feels he is. Naomi Watts plays his mother, and Susan Sarandon his lesbian grandmother, both of whom are struggling to fully accept what is going on and support Ray as much as he needs. Both parents' signatures are needed on the consent form to start the hormone treatments, so Ray's mom Maggie (Watts) tracks down the long-absent father, which opens some old wounds.

Director Gaby Dellal spoke and took questions after the film, and said she was primarily making a film about relationships, focusing mainly on the mother and how she dealt with both her child and her mother. The characters are real and they make you care about them. The story is both sad and funny, and has a few surprises along the way. And while the family may be a little unconventional, it is perfectly normal in its flaws and conflicts, and totally believable. I loved this film, and I wish all those protesting the new sex education curriculum in Ontario and pulling their kids out of school would go see this film to understand a little more about how gender isn't as simple as they wish it were.

TIFF Overview

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