TANGERINE(director/writer: Sean Baker; screenwriter: Chris Bergoch; cinematographer: Radium Cheung/Sean Bean; editor: Sean Baker; cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez (Sin-Dee Rella), Mya Taylor (Alexandra), Karren Karagulian (Razmik), Mickey O’Hagan (Dinah), James Ransone (Chester), Alla Tumanian (Ashken); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Marcus Cox, Karrie Cox, Darren Dean/Shih-Ching Tsou; Magnolia Pictures; 2015)
“A not for everyone low-budget raucous comedy on street-life for drag queen prostitutes in Tinseltown during Christmas Eve.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A not for everyone low-budget raucous comedy on street-life for drag queen prostitutes in Tinseltown during Christmas Eve. The indie bleak comedy was shot on an iPhone 5. Writer-director Sean Baker (“Starlet”/”Prince of Broadway”/”Take Out”) keeps things lively, crazy funny and raw, as he and co-writer Chris Beroch explore in a cinéma-verité style the sex-trade subculture among a group of low-end transgender prostitutes during one long day and holiday night in the West Hollywood section of LA.
Transgender actresses Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez play two street-wise L.A. transgender hookers. Rodriguez was just released from a stint of 28-days in prison. When she hears from her best friend that her pimp/boyfriend (James Ransone) has been seeing a real female white girl (Mickey O’Hagan) it breaks her heart and she tracks her down operating with other hookers in a sleazy brothel motel. Thereby she gives her a whupping before dragging her around town to confront her dreamboat pimp in his Donut Time hangout.
The third character of importance is the slimy middle-aged Armenian-American cabbie (Karren Karagulian). He’s a married man with a child, whose overbearing mother-in-law (Alla Tumanian), who lives with him, catches him in a lie about working on Christmas Eve and confronts her cheating son-in-law with the gay prostitutes he frequents at the Donut Time.
It’s a funny, irreverent, sad and ridiculous slice-of-life drama that most Americans won’t be able to relate to. How well you can relate to it will determine how much you like it.
REVIEWED ON 11/5/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ