It’s Christmas Eve in the seedy side of Hollywood and two transsexual prostitutes are searching for the man who cheated on one of them in order to take revenge. If you’re not on board for this movie at this point, probably nothing I’m going to say will convince you. This movie is getting a lot of buzz for being shot on three iPhone 5s, but don’t let that overshadow the real genius here. This is a movie that starts out of the gate with a bang and never lets up; its unbelievable energy just carries it through in a kind of gleeful sugar rush. As the two prostitutes at the heart of the heart of the movie, Katana Kiki Rodriguez & Mya Taylor are both brilliant, high energy actresses giving full on performances that ultimately unfold into a surprising vulnerability and pain. Rodriguez in particular is in full on screwball comedy mode, spitting gut-bustingly hilarious lines at a furious rate of speed. But Taylor is able, as the film goes on, to find a surprising sadness and vulnerability in her character in some really deeply sad and evocative scenes. The film also follows a hapless cab-driver, wonderfully played by Karren Karagulian, as he whiles away his Christmas transporting drunks, having various sexual encounters and spending some quality time with his family around the Christmas tree. Then there’s Mickey O’Hagan as a harried prostitute who finds herself swept up in the revenge quest of the main characters; it’s a hilarious, surprisingly layered performance. The film looks fantastic as well; it has a jittery energy to the way its edited that keeps the viewer engaged, while the digital format creates a strikingly beautiful mood. From the golden sun of early afternoon to the gorgeous orange light of the sun going down into the moody blues of the night, the cameras capture Hollywood at its most gorgeous, finding an often breathtaking beauty in the way the lights on an all-night bus glow or the setting sun fires its rays through the cloud of steam from a carwash or the weird purple fluorescence of a club bathroom. If this is the future of filmmaking, I’m ready. And a word for the music, mostly consisting of source tunes, which is some of the best film music of the year so far. The film is everything it aims at. Sometimes, it’s roll-on-the-floor funny while at other times it has a quiet, deep melancholy, as in a scene where Mya Taylor performs at a club. And who knew? Right now, I’ll just tell you that the most beautiful moment of human connection I’ve seen at the movies all year was two hookers sharing a crack-pipe in a filthy bathroom. I can’t recommend this movie highly enough is what I’m trying to say; it’s one you probably haven’t even heard about – but now you have, so there’s your excuse gone: watch this movie today. 4 stars.
tl;dr – beautifully shot film follows two trans prostitutes through Christmas Eve in Hollywood; both hysterically funny and deeply sad, film features astoundingly great performances. 4 stars.