XXY review

The genetically topsy-turvy debut of Argentine filmmaker Luc&iacutea Puenzo tells the tale of Alex, a young hermaphrodite raised as a girl on the Uruguayan coast who, on the cusp of adulthood, must decide once and for all whether or not to go under the gender-determining knife. Atmospherically set in a windswept fishing village, where the bullying local meatheads seize on Alex’s trouser-area anomaly as a target for their cruel japes, XXY evolves to become a heart-bothering coming-of-age drama. Inés Efron memorably portrays Alex with spiky confidence shifting into vulnerability, while as Alvaro, the confused lad who falls for him/her, Mart&iacuten Piroyansky holds his own with an endearing study in awkwardness. Puenzo’s direction is subtle and sensitive, but it’s these pitch-perfect teenagers who really get XXY firing on all chromosomes.

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