Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor are dynamite in Tangerine as Sin-Dee and Alexandra, two transgender prostitutes having themselves an adventure on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles.
Freshly out of prison, Sin-Dee learns that her pimp boyfriend, Chester (James Ransone), has cheated on her, and she’s out for some payback. She snatches Dinah (Mickey O’Hagan), the girl with whom he allegedly cheated, out of a sleazy hotel and drags her around by the hair as she looks for Chester.
It’s all very funny, thanks mostly to Rodriguez, who has a rapid-fire delivery that’s screamingly funny. Taylor plays the more-grounded character, a woman who is looking to sing for friends in a bar on Christmas Eve—only to have a friend show up dragging a woman by her hair.
Amazingly, the whole thing was shot using three smartphones: You could’ve fooled me: The movie looks great, all things considered, much better than a lot of movies filmed the traditional way.
Director Sean Baker has made a little movie miracle here. Film schools and camera manufacturers around the world will be shaking in their boots when they see it.
Tangerine opens Friday, July 24, at the Camelot Theatres (2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs; 760-325-6565).