About Ray caused a bit of a stir some months ago when Elle Fanning was cast in the titular role of Ray, a transgender teen boy transitioning from female to male. Many felt as though the film should have cast an actual transgender teen boy instead of Fanning, but now the first trailer has arrived and you can judge Fanning’s abilities for yourself.
Fanning stars as Ray, a young transgender man whose family is coping with his decision to fully transition. While his mother (Naomi Watts) and grandmother (Susan Sarandon) grow to accept this difficult life choice, his father (Tate Donoavan) has a far more difficult time. The film explores the various struggles transgender teens face, as well as the factors they must weigh in making their decisions — not to mention the effect it has on their loved ones.
About Ray is the latest mainstream film to prominently feature a transgender character, joining shows like Orange Is the New Black and Transparent and the upcoming film The Danish Girl (which has similarly drawn a bit of controversy with Eddie Redmayne playing a transgender woman).
Here’s the official synopsis:
ABOUT RAY tells the stirring and touching story of three generations of a family living under one roof in New York as they must deal with the life-changing transformation by one that ultimately affects them all. Ray (Elle Fanning) is a teenager who has come to the realization that she isn’t meant to be a girl and has decided to transition from female to male. His single mother, Maggie (Naomi Watts), must track down Ray’s biological father (Tate Donovan) to get his legal consent to allow Ray’s transition. Dolly (Susan Sarandon), Ray’s lesbian grandmother is having a hard time accepting that she now has a grandson. They must each confront their own identities and learn to embrace change and their strength as a family in order to ultimately find acceptance and understanding.
About Ray hits theaters on September 18.