XXY (4 stars)

This article is from 2007.


(Lucía Puenzo, Argentina/Spain/France, 2007)

This, the winning film of the Cannes Critics’ Week International Grand Prix Prize brings to mind the opening line of Jeffrey Eugenedes bestseller Middlesex: ‘I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.’ The remarkable thing about Argentinean TV writer Puenzo’s ethereal coming-of-age debut feature is that it’s actually more intriguing than Eugenedes’ novel.

Alex has turned 15 and needs to decide whether she wants to be a boy or a girl. Puenzo avoids sensationalism and cliché as the moody seaside backdrop and beautiful blue colours add to the sense of loss that not just Alex, but everyone that comes into contact with the hermaphrodite, senses. Inés Efron is magnificent as the lead in this traumatic tale that perfectly captures the difficulty of making tough life choices in teenage years. (Kaleem Aftab)

Cameo, 623 8030, 18 Aug, 9.50pm, £7.95 (£5.50); Filmhouse, 623 8030, 9.30pm, £7.95 (£5.50).


  • 4 stars
  • 2007
  • Argentina/Spain/France
  • 1h 26min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Lucía Puenzo
  • Written by: Lucía Puenzo
  • Cast: Ricardo Darín, Valeria Bertuccelli, Inés Efron, Martín Piroyansky, Carolina Peleritti

15-year old Alex (Efron) possesses both male and female sexual organs. Raised as a girl, her liberal parents (Darin and Bertuccelli) eventually face the question of what is to be done with a girl/boy like Alex. Puenzo's directorial debut is a slow, challenging but ultimately satisfying chamber piece that examines…

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