The New York Film Critics Series screened Three Generations as part of the Spring Series.
The film centers around 3 generations of family members living together in New York. Elle Fanning plays Ray, a teenager who decides to transition from female to male. She lives with her mother Maggie played by Naomi Watts, her grandmother Dolly played by Susan Sarandon, and Dolly’s significant other Frances (Linda Emond).
The film shows the daily struggles of Ray’s life while living in a female body. Since Ray is underage, a parent’s signature is needed in order to start hormonal therapy, something he has wanted for so long. Unfortunately two signatures are needed and since his father is not in the picture, it becomes more of a struggle than initially expected.
Maggie decides to seek out Ray’s father Craig (Tate Donovan) after not seeing him since Ray was a young child. Maggie is met with hesitation from Craig who is unsure if he should sign the papers or not. When she leaves without a signature, Ray decides to take things into his own hands and arrives on Craig’s doorstep one day.
As if the viewers think they are piecing things together, another factor complicates this family and the dynamics. When Maggie and Craig were together she had an affair with his brother Matthew (Sam Trammell).
With complicated family relationships, Ray just wants one thing, to transition and a new start at a new school feeling comfortable with himself for the first time.
Following the film was a Q&A with the director of the film, Gaby Dellal hosted by Alison Bailes.
Gaby wrote the film 5 years ago. She felt like this was the most marvelous time to release it. When researching for the film she had met with and skyped with many people who are transgender. The research continued when GLAAD spent a lot of time on set. It was very important for Gaby to speak and meet with many people in the transgender community when making the film. Gaby told the crowd that she had 3 sons and how like any other family she has had challenges she has faced, but it is important to have love and support even through different generations.The film was originally named About Ray but Gaby didn’t feel like the film was only about him. They had several other movie names, but decided that 3 Generations was the best fit for the film.
Gaby was asked how she got into acting. She explained how she was originally an actress. Acting was her first love but when she had her three children she started writing a lot. She needed a director for her short film that she had written, but couldn’t find one. She decided to do it. She has never turned back.