Directed by Sophie Hyde
The film follows Billie (Cobham-Hervey) , a fifteen year old girl who goes to live with her father (Williams) after her mother (Herbert-Jane) comes out as transgender. Visiting her new Dad every Tuesday, their relationship finds stability in what they think are the sureties ahead in the transition, but as elements start to veer from what they expected, so too does the solidity of their relationship. As Billie begins to experiment with her sexuality with some older friends, she finds that where she could be "herself" as a child is not the same as she can as an adult.
At its centre, Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Del Herbert-Jane give subtle and nuanced performances, with their journeys as different as they are parallel. As cracks appear in their relationship, so too do their deep-rooted insecurities, which had been held together by their love for each other. Through the nature of the film's development, their performances become all the more authentic for their increasing real-life maturity. But as the layers of their characters peel back, I couldn't help but wonder if the beginning of the film couldn't have benefited from the depth we witness at the end, which could only have come from shooting out of sync and therefore undermining the film's unique selling point. But then its structural trope isn't its only USP.
Aesthetically, 52 Tuesdays embraces stark realism, while its cinematography makes no attempt to glamorise the Antipodean sunshine. But while the credibility of its gimmicky structure is maintained, it is also its stumbling block at times too. Just as Boyhood struggled under its own weight due to the sheer scope of its vision, 52 Tuesdays bows under the same pressure. Even though several of the titular 'Tuesdays' receive only a few seconds of attention, all 52 still feature. So with 52 episodes appearing in just under two hours, it doesn't always succeed in maintaining pace. However, as a character study, an exploration of trans* issues and as a fascinating story, it ticks each box adeptly. And whether it wants to be or not, its topic makes it a landmark piece of Queer Cinema.