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August 06, 2003


We watched the made for HBO movie Normal. It is the story of what a family goes through when the husband played by Tom Wilkinson decides that after many years of marriage and two children, one grown, one a teenager, he needs to undergo a sex change to be able to embrace his true self.

It is fascinating to watch as he deals with a variety of reactions from those around him. Most have a hard time accepting that his feelings about them have not changed, though he understands how their feelings about him do change. The movie deals well with questions of how this change affects his sexuality and the views of religion on such a choice.

I think the movie is more interesting because his wife decides to stay with him and support him, though she can not fully understand how he could truly need to go through this. One of the interesting parts of the relationship is how they interact leading up to Thanksgiving dinner. It is interesting because it brings out questions about gender roles versus traditional family roles.

Finally, there is one scene involving a potential suicide that I found to be an overwhelmingly powerful expression of love, that I might recommend the movie for it alone. Surprisingly compelling, I think anyone not turned off by the basic plot would enjoy seeing the movie. On my scale of 1-100, I rate it an 84.

For a complete list of my ratings go to Mike's Movie Ratings .

Posted by tmichael at August 6, 2003 08:39 PM