Lucia Puenzo's first film comes forth in a vivid, insinuating way as XXY lingers with one well after a viewing.
This Argentinian drama is a unique tale about teenage life with a girl, Alex (Ines Efron), being a hermaphrodite.
Her parents, including marine biologist dad (Ricardo Darin) have sheltered her to a degree by residing well off on Uruguay's coastline, at least from meddling neighbors.
With her sexual nature precarious, the 15-year-old is living as well as one could expect, being like a man below the waist and a woman above it.
The screenplay, collaborated on by Puenzo, figures into the relationship between Alex and 16-year-old Alvaro (Martin Piroyanski), the son of visiting family friends.
The identity crisis for Alex has much complication to it as she has endured much bigotry while becoming very attracted to Alvaro. The crux of XXY isn't really learning how to become "normal" rather than finding the path to acceptance.
Puenzo lets the intimacy gradually evolve without gratuitousness, and her tasteful approach works wonders with the mysterious, perky Efron and the naivety of Piroyanski.
Thus, a gracefulness under pressure unfolds as later, unextended moments have raw, emotional power that breathes strange, startingly life into a story of love.