Film Reviews

Review: Carl(A)



With multiple cities having “Pride” weekends, all the controversy, comments and discussion around Bruce Jenner “coming out” and now being known as “Caitlyn” and the subject of being transgender on the lips of people all over the world…this film is more timely than ever.  Originally released in 2011, Carl(A) is experiencing a second life in 2015 thanks to MS NBC, the Huffington Post and it’s Director/Producer Eli Hershko.

Everyone has met, seen or been close to someone you know is not living their authentic self. Someone who seems trapped in their own sense of hell and wanting to shout out, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”!   Someone who seems to march to the beat of their own drum regardless of what society says.

Carl(A) marches loudly to her own beat, but not without paying a hefty price.  Her family is disgusted, embarrassed, confused and disappointed by her decision to not embrace the body she was born in. Her boyfriend gives her an ultimatum of an operation or loving him and her best friend sends mixed signals of support bordering on jealousy because she is not fortunate enough to have a “choice”.

Joslyn DeFreece as Carl(A) is remarkable in displaying all the complex emotion one faces in being a man trapped in a woman’s body and all the drama that comes with it.  The family disapproval, bullying from straight/cowardly men, self-doubt and how it only takes one person to love/accept you to make a difference.

Laverne Cox has catapulted to stardom through her Emmy nominated role on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black and proves here once again why she is a force to be reckoned with.  Right off the heels of another stellar performance in GRANDMA with Lily Tomlin, Cox’s range is stretched beyond it limits and giving us a performance that will hopefully get many kudos.  Although, I have to say my favorite moment involves a hammer and that’s all I’ll say about it.  Cox mixes just enough sass, comedic chops and drama to make Cinnamon a little more than a spice.

Mark Margolis as Grandpa will make your heart bleed and remind you that there is always one person in your corner no matter what.  Sometimes one person is all you really need.


Being transgender is not about being unique or different.  It’s about owning your true self and having the courage to step into that light despite what judgement may come your way.  Being someone who has always been a little odd and never conformed to the norm…I understand and applaud anyone who chooses to live their life on their own terms despite what society tells you.  We have one life, there are no do-overs…so make this one count and leave a legacy you will have no regrets about.

For more info about Carl(A), feel free to log onto

I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic-Expert, I am a member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association, African American Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics and Alliance of Women Film Journalists. My op-eds or features have been seen in VARIETY,, Maltin on Movies, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, NPR, Good Day LA, Turner Classic Movies, KCRW Press Play with Madeline Brand and Cherry Picks. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Mondays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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