52 Tuesdays review
Sophie Hyde’s, 52 Tuesdays is innovative in both in content and in production. It is the story of a teenage girl’s mother undergoing the transformation from female to male, which is a pretty timely topic of debate today, but it’s not the typical story a Hollywood studio would pick up. It is also a topic that could potentially not sit well with an audience, but I think the film was well put together.
When Billie’s (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) mother tells her that she will be taking a year to go through the transformation to a male, it also means that she will have to live with her father for the year. The relationship of Billie and her mother is set up to be very deep and entwined, so Billie is put off at this idea, but supports her mother’s decision. They agree to meet every Tuesday for six hours so they are not completely cut off from each other.
Billie befriends a boy and a girl from school not long after her mother begins the process, who help her in her own transformation and realization of identity. As the group grows more and more comfortable with each other, barriers are broken down from the usual framework of friendship, and the three becomes somewhat of a cohesive love triangle.
Complications arise for James (the male name Billie’s mom takes) when her body starts to reject the testosterone injections she begins to take. She learns that she must make the transformation on her own and not rely on “T” to expedite the male characteristics.
As James’ transformation develops further and further, Billie seems to have more issues and doubts with the whole idea. She also becomes more confident in her relationship with her two friends, Jasmine and Josh. However, their relationship quickly spirals out of control once certain boundaries are broken.
While the content of the film is compelling, the process of it’s making is even more fascinating to me. The movie was filmed exclusively on Tuesdays for one year, just as the timeline of the movie reads. Because the film was shot over the year, we get to see the characters grow in both the storyline and in their actual physical and emotional growth. Scripts were also only written week by week, so the film was very much alive for the entirety of the production, and actors were able to add an authentic element, as they didn’t even know what would happen next.
I thought this was a fantastic innovation in the film making industry and in my opinion the end product is very well done. It was refreshing to see something new and exciting like this, and I look forward to seeing where this concept can be taken. This is a nice stepping-stone for the future of this kind of film.