There's something wonderful about seeing the best actors of different generations share the screen; maybe it's the reminder that even in an ephemeral industry like Hollywood, talent can truly be timeless. That's certainly part of the appeal of the aptly titled new family dramedy 3 Generations, in which Elle Fanning plays trans teenage boy Ray, Naomi Watts plays his single mother Maggie, and Susan Sarandon plays his grandmother Dolly. The trio of actresses light up the screen with their familiar chemistry, and Fanning's Ray and Sarandon's Dolly have a particularly touching, authentic relationship — loving but rocky, strained by the generational gap between them.
That lovely dynamic is on full display in this exclusive 3 Generations clip. Dolly, who is gay and an old school feminist, is having trouble coming to grips with the reality that her grandson was incorrectly assigned female at birth. She's convinced that Ray is confused about his identity — that she in fact has a lesbian granddaughter. Ray, on the other hand, is incredibly secure in his identity (or at least that aspect of it), and is increasingly frustrated with the fact that everyone around him, including Dolly, can't accept that. This scene captures a sweet conversation that represents a turning point in their relationship.
Setting the argument that a trans actor should've been cast as Ray aside, Fanning shines in her role as a trans teenage boy. The 19-year-old, up next in Sofia Coppola's Southern gothic drama The Beguiled, co-starring Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst, gives one of the best performances in her young career. And Sarandon, fresh off her uncanny turn as the iconic Bette Davis in one of our favorite series of spring 2017, Ryan Murphy's Feud: Bette and Joan, reminds us yet again that at a sprightly 70, she remains one of the fiercest forces on the big screen today.
Watch the clip below, and see 3 Generations when it hits theaters on May 5.