Tangerine ★★★★

A movie centered around a revenge-seeking transgender prostitute and shot exclusively on iPhones sounds like a set-up for a schlocky b-movie. It could so easily have fallen into hacky gimmicks and broad stereotypes of both race and gender, and yet it never does, nor does it come close.

Instead, it's a humanistic portrayal of the lesser-celebrated inhabitants of Los Angeles, that is equal parts charming, self-deprecating, witty, and sympathetic. The camerawork serves to make the viewer feel like a participant in the action and less a spectator, and simultaneously imbues the plot with a sense of energy and urgency that matches that of its central character.

'Tangerine' is by no means a perfect film, but the camerawork and the relative inexperience of the actors rarely detract from the film more than they imbue it with a sense of realism.

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