Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
It’s Christmas Eve in West Hollywood. Two transgender prostitute BFFs talk trash and storm the LA streets in this R-rated comedy of infidelity, retribution and sorely stretched friendship. Their taxi-driving biggest admirer is having a bad night too. Sean Baker (Starlet) shot the entire movie on a souped-up iPhone5S, and the blazing HD hyper-reality of the imagery is a perfect match for the awesome, OTT emotions on display.
“It’s trashy, lurid, and hilariously profane – exploitation in the best, most cinematic sense – but without ever losing the thread of human ache that connects the handful of characters (including two transgender prostitutes, an Armenian cab driver, and his family) to each other. Alexandra (Mya Taylor) accidentally tells Sin-Dee (Kiki Kitana Rodriguez) that her man (and pimp) has been seeing someone else. She goes ballistic, stalking the streets of Los Angeles looking first for him, then the actual woman (a ‘fish’) he’s been seeing. Even among the least-regulated sex workers there’s a code of honor, and ‘this bitch,’ whoever she is, has violated it.
Meanwhile, the cabbie, Razmik (Karren Karagulian, a wonderful Baker regular), is making his rounds on the same streets. Obviously, he and the hookers converge for a confrontation, along with some other characters, including the pimp…
This is what you came here for: something that feels real – and not because the filmmakers are telling you it is, but because the filmmaking has brought pavement and doughnuts and wigs and the smell of crystal meth to life.” — Wesley Morris, Grantland