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Felicity Huffman
's star sign is a weird thing. More sexy than pretty, and certainly the least glamourous of the Desperate Housewives, there's still something undeniably heteronormative about her. If every star (or star-like character actress) has their Central Casting label, she'd be something like a somewhat more "serious" version of screwball-era Rosalind Russell - The Guy's Gal; the coworker that everyone's a little afraid of, and nobody would admit to being attracted to, but whom everybody secretly sort of wants to nail.

That star persona lingers on the edges of Duncan Tucker's Transamerica, the film for which Huffman won a Best Actress award last weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her performance, as Bree, a male-to-female just-barely-pre-op transsexual who takes a road trip with the son she never knew she had, is a tricky thing: watching the film, I never forgot that this was the actress that I know to be William H. Macy's wife; at the same time, I never once felt like Bree wasn't a biological man.