(2005)3.5Derek ArmstrongFelicity Huffman is a woman. Anyone who doubts that need only ask her husband, William H. Macy. It's a credit to Huffman's performance in Transamerica, then, that she really makes a viewer wonder. When we first meet Huffman's pre-op transsexual -- Bree, née Stanley -- her physicality is all wonky, her speaking voice is in serious need of practice, and her self-confidence is brittle. The geographical and emotional journey that turns Bree not only into a woman, but more importantly, a person, is just one of the transcendent pleasures of Transamerica. Writer-director Duncan Tucker intends the viewer to travel the same trajectory as Bree, introducing her as synthetic to the point of alien -- the same way Bree sees herself. Pointedly, Tucker makes Bree what a bigot fears most: an inscrutable form of "other." His intention, of course, is to explode that perspective, and as this occurs gradually over the course of a road trip that is alternately wrenching and hilarious, it's immensely satisfying. Nearly as impressive as Huffman is the actor who goes toe-to-toe with her the whole way: Kevin Zegers, who plays Bree's just-discovered son, whose relationship with Bree becomes more and more complicated with each new secret that worms its way into the open. He's got as much transparent baggage as Bree carries privately, and Zegers gets his post-adolescent emotional wildness down perfectly. Like the title itself, Transamerica works on several levels. For one audience, it functions as a quirky road movie with absurd set pieces that occasionally veer toward the tragic; for another, it's a voyage of self-acceptance, an increasingly less tentative embrace of the notion that it takes all kinds. For every audience, Transamerica should be a moving contemplation on the messiness of family, with its disparate parts struggling through unconventional circumstances, trying to love each other.