Indie Gems: 52 Tuesdays

When you don't know why you're sad.

Sixteen year old Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) is blindsided when her mother Jane (Del Herbert-Jane) tells her she's going to begin the transition from female to male. She changes her name to James, and has Billie move in with her father (Beau Travis Williams) for one year during her transition. They make a deal to meet every Tuesday from 4:00pm-10:00pm to spend time together. Billie navigates her mother's transition all while exploring her sexuality with her new friends. 

Director Sophie Hyde actually shot this film on every Tuesday for an entire year in South Australia. She didn't use professional actors and they were only given their scripts a week at a time. This is a tremendous gamble, but it paid off. Billie spends a good amount of the movie speaking to her own camera, and recording her friends. The use of non actors made it feel unprofessional in the best way possible.

Cobham-Hervey is a natural talent, and I hope I see her in more films. She really grasps Billie's confusion and insecurities. Del Herbert-Jane (who in real life identifies as gender neutral) plays James so well. She really showcased the frustrating aspects of transitioning and it not going the way you planned. 

The film isn't perfect. It shifts between Billie and James, and Billie and her two friends, which end up taking the bulk of the story later on. There's also Billie's eccentric uncle Harry (Mario Sp├Ąte) who really doesn't seem to fit in the story. I could never tell if he was meant for levity or just to be a pain in the ass.

Grade: B

Watched on: Netflix Instant

Memorable Quote: "A year is a long time at your age." - James (Del Herbert-Jane)


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