There's a secret in XXY. It's obvious and alluded to but, there's a character who's either in denial, playing dumb or really isn't in the know until he's forced to be.
When Alex's (Inés Efron) parents receive guests in their isolated Uruguayan home far from their former life in Argentina, the guests' son, Alvaro (Martín Piroyansky), and Alex, hit it off. Alex is aggressive, letting Alvaro know she'd like to have sex. Alvaro is stoic but interested. When Alex forces her secret upon Alvaro, he's shocked, confused and, ultimately, smitten.
The two sets of parents are so worried over Alex that they miss the hotbed. Alex's parents worry about her future, especially now that her secret has been discovered both by force and people talking. The parents are divided about what course of action is best for Alex. Alvaro's father is a surgeon who can help "fix" Alex if her father agrees, but it's Alex who isn't sure. Although confused and unable to identify herself one way or the other, she is coming to the conclusion that she may not have to. Alex and her dad have a close relationship, while Alvaro and his father's is strained and harsh. Alex/Efron steals this movie with her androgynous beauty, her strength of character and her vibrant eyes. The three youths in this film are excellent--it's their movie. They bound in emotive energy that keeps you glued and with a stake in the outcome. In the end, Alex is up against her parents' fears and worries, not her own. She is a confident, secure heartbreaker.
Adapted from short story Cinismo by Sergio Bizzio, this is a quality movie about gender confusion and identity. It delves into gender roles in modern society. Alex has the confidence and aggression stereotypically assigned to and expected from men. She also possesses the femininity that makes them crazy. Loved it.
Writer/Director: Lucía Puenzo
Run time: 86 minutes