Tangerine – The Transgender Revenge Comedy We Need

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If the latest edition of The Hollywood Reporter is claiming anything, it’s that we’re living in a Hollywood full of vanilla.

Every year the editors of The Hollywood Reporter put together roundtables that are a “defining element of this publication’s awards coverage through the Emmy and Oscar seasons.” The most recent edition features the likes of Cate Blanchett to Jane Fonda to Kate Winslet…to name a few. Undoubtedly the list is current and upcoming A-listers in Hollywood, and they have one thing in common–they’re all white.

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The Hollywood Reporter wrote a defense piece after the release of their publication defending their lack of diversity by stating that “the awful truth is that there are no minority actresses in genuine contention for an Oscar this year.”

My question to The Hollywood Reporter: Have you seen Tangerine?

The irresponsible shift in blame to Hollywood is unmistakable, but THR has the opportunity to shake the industry up and beat the system. Films like Tangerine can be part of the conversation if you make them part of the conversation.

Tangerine spotlights a transgender prostitute while she blows through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve in search of the pimp who broke her heart.

With a meager budget of $100,000, and impressively shot entirely on an iPhone 5s, the success of Tangerine is revolutionary. Tangerine is a game-changer in Hollywood not due to it’s story, but how it tells it’s story and the transgender actors involved.

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Industry ears are perking up to the conversation as distributor Magnolia Pictures has mounted the first Oscar campaign ever for transgender actresses. Both Kitana Rodriguez and Mya Taylor received Gotham Award nominations last month and now have picked up nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards. Is this Oscar status? Not just yet, but it’s a step in the right direction down the yellow brick road.

Do I think these are the next Oscar frontrunners? No. But this little film deserves acknowledgment and is one that needs to become part of the conversation.

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11 thoughts on “Tangerine – The Transgender Revenge Comedy We Need

  1. Personally didn’t really click with me. The Danish Girl was much better and these performances weren’t extraordinary except for the fact that they were transgender people acting. Even though Eddie Redmayne doesn’t deserve the Oscar his performance was far superior to any of these two and I think he’ll get the recognition to go along with it. This is great for the future of transgender actors but someone shouldn’t just get nominated because of their race or sexual orientation. It’s based on their acting performance and I think out there right now there are far superior performances in the best actress and best supporting actress fields than these two. But that’s not me trying to undermine the amazing work the both of these two did. Kudos to them and for creating opportunities for other transgender actresses. Great post 🙂

  2. I don’t think that THR cover was bad, it is however the part of the problem because instead of adding to the glorification of Jane Fonda’s 4 minute cameo in Youth – seriously what the hell is this woman getting buzz for – they could try to go for edgy and feature someone different and get them into Oscar conversation. That they wouldn’t deserve it smaller issue I mean Lawrence is there and she doesn’t even know what Hamlet is so she technically shouldn’t be allowed in any rooms with either of these people, ever

  3. Very well said. I think Tangerine will prove to be a milestone for transgender performers in the years to come. I loved that they both picked up Indie Spirit noms. And, as much as I respect the talents of the women on that THR cover, can you imagine if they featured Rodriguez and/or Taylor in that interview? It would’ve been so great, for so many reasons.

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