- 1 hr 28 min
Tangerine is a 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by Sean Baker, which follows the story of two transgender prostitutes, Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), on a mission to find Sin-Dee's cheating boyfriend and pimp, Chester (James Ransone), on Christmas Eve in Tinseltown, Los Angeles. The movie is shot entirely on an iPhone 5S, and it takes the audience on a refreshing, raw, and hilarious ride through the streets of LA, highlighting the struggles and celebration of the transgender community.
Sin-Dee, a fiery and impulsive woman, has just finished a 28-day stint in jail when she learns through her best friend Alexandra that Chester has been cheating on her with a cisgender woman. In a fit of rage, Sin-Dee sets out to find Chester and confront him. Meanwhile, Alexandra attempts to drum up support for her impending show at a nearby club, but she feels bad for letting Sin-Dee down when she tells her about Chester's infidelity. The two friends' escapades take place over the course of one afternoon, as they navigate the streets of LA's underbelly, encountering a host of characters along the way.
Tangerine is an intimate portrait of two women living on the margins of society, battling against discrimination, poverty, and societal norms. The chemistry between the two protagonists is magnetic, and their performances are a true testament to Baker's skill in writing female characters. Kitana Kiki Rodriguez is electrifying as Sin-Dee, a woman who lets her emotions run wild, constantly on the verge of exploding. Mya Taylor is equally dynamic as Alexandra, who serves as Sin-Dee's level-headed sidekick, trying to keep her out of trouble.
The film's setting of LA is a crucial element of the movie's storytelling. Baker cleverly juxtaposes the city's glitz and glamour with the poverty and neglect of its minority communities. The film's visual style is unique, with its use of vivid colors and unconventional camera angles. The use of an iPhone may seem like a gimmick, but it adds an element of authenticity to the film's presentation.
One of the film's most impressive aspects is its portrayal of transgender characters without resorting to stereotypes. The film never shies away from the harsh realities of what it means to be a transgender person in America, but it doesn't reduce the characters to just their gender identity. The characters are allowed to be multifaceted and complex, with their gender identity just one part of their story.
Tangerine's supporting cast is equally incredible, with Karren Karagulian providing a nuanced performance as Razmik, a married Armenian cab driver who has a secret addiction to transgender prostitutes. The film's other supporting characters include Dinah (Mickey O'Hagan), a disco Halloween-obsessed prostitute, and Donut Time manager (Ana Foxx).
The film's soundtrack, composed by Julio Reyes Copello and performed by various artists, including The Donut Time Crisis Choir, is a great complement to the film's visuals. The film's soundtrack includes a mix of soul, R&B, and funk, perfectly capturing the energy of the film and the city it's set in.
In conclusion, Tangerine is a unique and unforgettable film that manages to strike a perfect balance between comedy and drama. Sean Baker's direction is a masterful stroke, and the performances of its lead cast are nothing short of phenomenal. The film is a vital portrait of the transgender community, and it's clear that Baker has a deep understanding and respect for his subject matter. It's a film that challenges stereotypes and expectations, and one that will linger on in the mind of audiences long after its credits have rolled.
Tangerine is a 2015 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 86.