Film Review: Cowboys

Joe and Troy enjoying nature

Whilst much of today’s dialogue around trans rights is toxic and couched in the homophobic rhetoric of the 1970s and 1980s, slowly but surely more and more people seem to understand that not everyone is born into and stays in a specific biological sex. The path to acceptance is a slow and painful one, for most, and many never get there. Inclusivity, tolerance and equality have not been helped by the current wave of right-wing populism infesting much of the world. Cowboys tackles many of the key issues.

Troy (Steve Zahn) and Joe (Sasha Knight) are on a trip. Off into the wild unknown; camping, hunting and fishing. Just father and son spending some quality time together. There’s a slight snag though. Joe is in fact Josephine, well according to his mother (Jillian Bell) anyway, and it’s less of a planned excursion, more of a voluntary kidnapping. Given that he’s moved out of the house, the pair are estranged and he only has limited visits with their child.

While Cowboy may try and do a little too much, with both Joe and Troy’s stories overlapping, there’s good acting all round and a strong heart which ensures it wins through. This is boosted by director Anna Kerrigan’s decision to opt for authentic casting and a great supporting turn from Ann Dowd as a cop tasked with tracking them down. Whilst not everything clicks, Cowboys is a sweet and empathetic take on modern family life.

Cowboys is released by Blue Finch Film Releasing on Curzon Home Cinema and digital download on 7 May.

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