Tangerine

3.5 out of 5 stars

My Alternative Christmas double-bill begins with this ultra lo-budget indie drama set on Christmas Eve in L.A. with a pair of transsexual prostitutes, a married Armenian taxi driver and a cheating pimp. Shot on an iPhone, the limitations are sometimes obvious, like when they have to shoot them walking and talking from behind, but for the most part, the film looks pretty impressive considering its limited production values and uneven acting abilities, though Mya Taylor who plays the soulful Alexandria was a standout. More than ever, the presence of a good script will therefore make or break the film. Thankfully, despite stories that you’ll find in an episode of Jerry Springer, it feels real and unsentimental, with bursts of wit and humour, in showing us the lonely lives of a bunch of Los Angelenos living on the fringe of society. It is not quite the 5 stars movie Time Out will have you think but it is original and fascinating to watch. Coupled with a weird but memorable cameo from veteran actor Clu Gulager and the most realistic vomit scene ever on screen, what more can you want from a film made for the price of your ticket?

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