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Fernanda (Ingrid de Souza) is a transgendered youth who was born and raised in a small town in Brazil; though born a male, Fernanda chooses to live life as a woman, and has pulled up stakes to move to Italy and obtain sexual reassignment surgery. Fernanda discovers that Milan is one of the world's centers for transvestite prostitutes, and despite the religious scruples she was born with, Fernanda is soon nudged into a career as a sex worker. Fernanda is befriended by Charlo (Biba Lerhue), an old friend from Brazil who is now hooked on drugs and sells her body to support her habit. Charlo… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Fernanda's trials and lessons are ticked off with a brisk, businesslike air that leaves little time for emotional and character development."
‑ Hazel-Dawn Dumpert, L.A. Weekly
"Fernanda's life unfolds with discretion, compassion and humor under the sensitive yet lively direction of Goldman."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"With its warm humour and gritty realism, it's like a combination of the two extremes in the prostitute genre: Nights of Cabiria meets Pretty Woman!"
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Never really convinces."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"Up until its oddly flat ending, Princesa is an honest depiction of the way dreams can backfire."
‑ Justin Hartung, Citysearch
"[L]ed by the wooden, unattractive Ingrid de Souza as Fernanda, the film has no place to go but down."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"A sympathetic look at what it's like to be a Brazilian transsexual prostitute working in Milan."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Whatever [Fernanda] was like, this movie is a fantastic tribute to her."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
"Princesa, like its heroine, is not at all what it seems at first. For its immediately straightforward melodramatics leave in the film's wake a haunting afterglow of a life not easily resolved by a screenplay's third act."
‑ David Ehrenstein, New Times
"[Goldman] tells Princesa's story with admirable simplicity, carefully skirting away from any easy sentimentality or victimization."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"Squanders a colorful setting and characters with uninspired acting and direction."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"Manages to tell its story (based on a real character) with great sensitivity."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"It's all quite the soap opera, made all the more melodramatic because it's a quasi-true story."
‑ Tim Cogshell, Boxoffice Magazine
"The film suffers from a 'based-on-a- true-story' tag, and it not only polishes up the truth but also crushes everything down to soap-opera melodrama."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"Deliberately non-gritty but still humane and loving in its depiction of people who don't fit into traditional categories of male/female and whore/john."
‑ Dave White, IFilm
More reviews for Princesa on Rotten Tomatoes

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