52 Tuesdays Is an Impressive Debut From Sophie Hyde

Tilda Cobham-Hervey
Tilda Cobham-Hervey
© Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The most distinctive detail about 52 Tuesdays — that it was filmed in bursts once a week over a year — is just one of this impressive debut's many highlights.

The sixteenth year of Billie's (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) turbulent life becomes the most trying one yet when her lesbian mother (Del Herbert-Jane) undergoes the transition from Jane to James. Needing the space and freedom to medically alter himself, James requests that Billie live with her dad (Beau Travis Williams) for a year, but that they spend every Tuesday together.

It's during these few hours that this intimate near-masterpiece takes place, weaving James's transition tale with Billie's sexual coming-of-age. (The voyeuristic high schooler meets her new best friends by spying on their make-outs, and later plays director of their caresses before wedging herself between them.)


52 Tuesdays
Directed by Sophie Hyde
Kino Lorber
Opens March 27, Quad Cinema
Available on Fandor

Subscribe to the Voice Film Club podcast

James's exposition-heavy story can feel overly educational, but Billie's is a heady exploration of sexual and gender expression, familial responsibilities, and adolescent friendships. Billie accepts James's new identity completely, but can't help resenting — or taking advantage of — her mother's parental hiatus.

Later, she's slow to realize that having a transgender mother is far from the worst fate she can suffer. Despite his deep reserves of kindness, James, too, is a compellingly flawed parent, making for an emotionally resonant family drama that comes to a head when a teacher discovers the naked photos on Billie's phone. Grippingly plotted and exquisitely thoughtful, 52 Tuesdays is a poignant reminder that neither confusion nor crisis is doomed to be calamitous.

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Quad Cinema

34 W. 13th St.
New York, NY 10011



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