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Review: Gun Hill Road

A recently released inmate has trouble with his family's newfound values
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 16, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

When tough guy Enrique (a stolid Esai Morales) returns to his Bronx home after his latest stint in the joint, he finds that things have changed. His wife Angela (Judy Reyes) greets him a little distantly and his son Michael (Harmony Santana, who is reminiscent of Jaye Davidson in The Crying Game) shuns him. Dad tries to reconnect with his son by resorting to the traditional macho father-and-son bonding activities, but not only does Michael no longer like baseball, he's in the process of transforming himself into "Vanessa." Enrique feels his masculinity is threatened both by his wife's coldness and his son's plans to become a woman, and responds badly. Rashaad Ernesto Green roots his somewhat schematic melodrama in a palpably authentic setting that, boosted by the performances of Reyes and Santana, elevates what could have been a clash between stereotypes into a moving and enlightening exploration of the conflicts between identity, desire, cultural expectations, and family ties.

  Topics: Reviews , Movies, film, Jaye Davidson,  More more >
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