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Montreal Premiere
  • USA
  • 2015
  • 89 mins
  • DCP
  • English
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2015

“Perfectly cast, beautifully directed” - Manohla Dargis, NEW YORK TIMES

“Vibrant and uplifting” - David Rooney, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“A work of rueful, matter-of-fact insight and unapologetically wild humor” - Justin Chang, VARIETY

It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and transgender hooker Sin-Dee (newcomer Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is back on the streets. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend Chester (James Ransone of Sean Baker’s STARLET) has been less than faithful during the 28 days she spent in the pokey, the working girl and her best friend, Alexandra (newcomer Mya Taylor), embark on a madcap mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumour. Their hilarious late-night odyssey leads them through various rarely seen, seedy subcultures of Los Angeles, where you’d never want to even sit on the mattress. The gals’ story will eventually collide with Armenian family man Ramzik (Karren Karagulian), a taxi cab driver with a taste for chicks of colour hiding a little something extra under their miniskirts. Everything comes full circle as the repercussions of infidelity explode over at the Donut Time, where even Karo’s snooping mother-in-law has something to say.

Director Sean Baker won praise and film-festival glory for his prior movies (STARLET, PRINCE OF BROADWAY), which brought rich texture and intimate detail to worlds seldom chronicled on celluloid (the porn biz, struggling immigrants). TANGERINE brilliantly follows suit, throwing a spotlight on those seamy corners of Santa Monica Boulevard where “respectable folks” don’t venture at night unless they want a back-alley blowjob or some crack. But this is not some Skid Row documentary; TANGERINE is an uproarious, naturalistic comedy that bursts from the screen with more energy and style (shot entirely on the iPhone!) than a hundred studio films. You will love every minute you spend with our chatty, offbeat heroines. Their riotous Christmas Eve in Hollywood introduces a whole new kind of “Merry.”

— Tony Timpone