A very brave film, this... To agree to take on such a complex task of telling the story of a struggling hermaphrodite, and to succeed in telling that story - to evoke emotion, confusion, fear, pity in the audience - must require a great deal of effort... perhaps even emotional effort. And I believe Lucia Puenzo has done a fantastic job. And the accents are so great..
I thought it was a beautiful portrayal of an awkward subject that in today's society calls for "normalization". Alex is confused, not sure if she identifies herself as male or female or is interested in men or women. She is simply herself. I didn't find the relations cold, only distant. No one else can relate to what she is going through, so they react the only way they know how.
Pierre, i really disagree about the coldness. I think the relationship between father and child is so well portrayed. His warmth towards Alex is so liberating. But they are lost in society - NOT to themselves - and that lostness is not coldness. For example, when Alex questions if a decision has to be made. Society pushes for clear gender borders. We can't even talk of people without gender! He/she/her/him.
There's a pervasive atmosphere of coldness to this film. No one seems to connect with one another, not even parents or spouses. They're all alien satellites seemingly united for one cause, but even then there is little consensus. On top of that the subject of the film is under pressure from boys, parents and puberty in a decision that may alter her life forever. Such is the world of an outsider.