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Richard Bull , Mary Seibel , Jane Anderson    Unrated   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.67
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Product Details

Product Description


As Roy (Tom Wilkinson, In the Bedroom) and Irma (Jessica Lange, Cape Fear, Tootsie) celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, Roy passes out. While meeting with their pastor, Roy reveals that he's a woman trapped in a man's body, and he wants to get a sex change--setting in motion a complex and emotionally fraught conflict between husband and wife, individual and community, and parent and child. Normal explores Roy's gender dysphoria with empathy, but also has an eye for the social and familial absurdities that come up. The humor, far from trivializing the issue, steers it away from cloying sentiment or politically correct sanctimony. The movie captures the confusion of Roy's friends and coworkers with realism and without judgment, and the stressful changes of Roy and Irma's relationship aren't sugarcoated or made into a moral lesson. Both Lange and Wilkinson are superb, as are the skillful script and direction. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Ray and Irma are a devoted couple living a normal life in rural Illinois, until Roy decides that his life must change and confesses to Irma that he's a woman trapped in a man's body. Now Roy must face their friends, his coworkers and his own children with the whole new way of life he has planned - and they must face him. What happens to a town, a factory and a loving marriage when confronted with such a transformation is all about being who you are, being in love, and simply being normal.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Define Normal March 7 2004
"Normal" is a powerful movie about a married couple who faces turbulances after the husband, Roy, reveals to his wife, Irma, that he wants to become a woman. As the problems arise, the emotional value becomes stronger. This is a great educational movie for those wanting to learn about transexuality. The realisms of such issues are heavily present from beginning to end. It proves that defining "normal" is not possible. The writing is brilliant. Their previous research of every expressed issue is present. This movie is not just about transexuality; it's also a love story. Such combination makes the movie much more interesting. Its intense scenes keep audiences' eyes wide open. The performers offer their own emotional sense that takes the movie to a higher level. Tom Wilkinson's Emmy and Golden Globe nominated role as Roy never loses the emotional value for a moment. His performance deserves great respect. Some may say this is role is above 2001's "In the Bedroom". Two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange portrays Irma wonderfully. Her character's hardships are desplicted beautifully. All other actors also performed their roles wonderfully. "Normal" is an unforgettable movie that will keep audiences moved for a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Transpeople are "Normal": See this Movie! Oct. 16 2003
By Sophie
"Normal" is an excellent, pull-no-punches look at transsexualism. The writer/director taylors her story to show many sides of the issue: the wife's initial hostility and confusion, the church's nonacceptance, the tough workplace, and the struggle of Ruth's children. The director is careful to make Ruth into an every-transsexual, as she has two children: a girl who is accepting and a boy who has to come to blows with his father before he finally comes around. She makes Ruth transition in a small midwestern town, a really tough place, in order to bring out some of the worst that can happen. Ruth's workplace is a testosterone-filled factory and the coworkers have a violent reaction when Ruth shows up in a pair of earrings. The small town atmosphere permeates the story and reveals the ignorance of small town people, but also some surprising support and acceptance, even if it is after a hard-fought battle.
My main criticism is that the timeline is hard to follow. Ruth seems to transition much more quickly than most transsexuals, and she makes many mistakes, such as the above-mentioned earrings at work, the perfume she wears on the job, and the falsetto singing that gets her kicked out of choir. We never learn how Ruth gets her hormones, or how she gets permission for sex reassignment surgery--as all transsexuals know, there are gatekeeper issues in transition, and the director never reveals that side of Ruth's struggle.
In all, though, this is an entertaining and well crafted story, and it should help in the struggle for acceptance that all transgendered people go through. See it with your family, and learn to accept the diversity of the population around all of us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defining "Normal" Dec 6 2003
Superb performances by Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson anchor this thoughtful and emotional drama about a farm couple in Iowa whose 25-year marriage is threatened when the husband reveals himself to be transgendered, and announces that he is planning to undergo a sex-change operation. The script skillfully avoids sensationalizing the subject by treating it with sensitivity and dignity, and presenting a balanced look at the wife's pain and confusion; the husband's longing to reconcile his body with his mind and emotions; and the disruption that the pending change causes in the relationships between the couple, their family, and the community in which they live. The resulting film is a layered and perceptive examination of what it means to be an individual human being with the attendant need to be accepted and loved by yourself, as well as those you hold dear. Most highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate but truthful July 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Contradictory though it may be, this film is simultaneously inaccurate and truthful.
In presenting the gender transition of a middle-aged man in a small, conservative farming community, this film has an odd omission. As an earlier reviewer pointed out, Roy/Ruth is able to go through hormone therapy and to get Sexual Reassignment Surgery without the film ever showing how. This is more than just a technicality. To get HRT, one needs a prescription. Most endocrinologists who work with TG people work as much on the emotional side of the issues as they do on the physical. To get SRS, one must have letters from two therapists. Roy faces some incredibly difficult issues in this film. He also makes some very dangerous choices, such as wearing perfume and earrings to work before having disclosed his transition. In real life, the therapist would be working with Ruth on all of these things. It almost feels as though a decision was made after shooting to edit out all of the scenes in which Ruth interacts with her doctor and her therapist.
This does have the effect of focusing on the real drama, the evolving relationships within the family. But it makes the film feel somehow unreal and misguided.
Other than that, as several reviewers have mentioned, the acceptance of the community as depicted is extremely optimistic.
For all that, this film nailed it. A couple I know invited me over to watch movies with them one night, and popped this one into the VCR. Halfway into the film, I broke down weeping and had to leave. As a TG woman myself, this film captured the truth of what happens, of the emotions and changes, as accurately as anything I've ever seen. The humanity of this movie, in how it depicts all of the family members, is stunning.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I found that this movie really sugar coats the transgender ...
I found that this movie really sugar coats the transgender transition. The movie is entertaining, however the only character who's feelings about the process come across, are... Read more
Published 1 month ago by cindy
5.0 out of 5 stars sujet interessant comme film
ce film est vraiment interessant car c'est un sujet tres delicat meme de nos jours. Je trouve les personnes attachantes, ce genre de film est tres rare sur nos ecran, et c'est tres... Read more
Published on Dec 3 2010 by J. Bernier
5.0 out of 5 stars Ain't nothin' normal about NORMAL
Fabulous movie - 100% recommended.
Jessica Lange & Tom Wilkinson tell the story with beauty, love & compassion - a must see!
Published on Sept. 22 2009 by Leggs
4.0 out of 5 stars Jessica Lange
Excellent performance with Jessica Lange & Tom Wilkinson. The rest of the cast was also very good and well directed by Jane Anderson. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2004 by Sophie
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Drama
Roy (Tom Wilkinson) and Irma (Jessica Lange) are a normal farm family with an estranged son and a teenage daughter. Read more
Published on June 13 2004 by Martin A Hogan
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable performances from Wilkinson and Lange
"Normal" is a film where the performances by Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Lange are so much better than the script. Read more
Published on April 30 2004 by Lawrance M. Bernabo
3.0 out of 5 stars "Oh Roy, what we do for love..."
Well, it had one of the best opening credits scenes I've ever seen- great stuff. Its a movie about this couple who have been happily married for 25 years and are still devoted and... Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by C. A. Davidson
3.0 out of 5 stars Making Us Think
The HBO film Normal is definetly good. The film really does open your eyes to some interesting points. Read more
Published on April 20 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Normal
Normal is the laugh-out-loud feelgood transgender comedy of the year. Jessica Lange easily tops her performance in Tootsie as the sympathetic lover of a man hoplessly conflicted... Read more
Published on April 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars wow
I've never written a review before, but I was so impressed with this movie, I felt like I should write something. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2004
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