Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Richard Raskin was born into an upper class family and found success in everything he attempted, becoming a doctor and a successful amateur tennis player. Deep down though, he held a desire to become a woman and created a firestorm of controversy he had a sex changed and attempted to enter the 1977 U.S. Women's Open as Renée Richards. "Renée" is a creepy portrait of a disturbed and conflicted individual, presented in an intriguing fashion. The documentary is not particularly well written but director Eric Drath does a nice job of assembling archival footage and interviews with greats from the tennis world, Richards friends and family, and Richards herself. The story is presented in a nonjudgmental fashion, allowing all viewpoints to be heard, including Richards son, who is struggling and still very upset with his father's life choices. Renée Richards comes off as distorted and self-absorbed, but her life makes for an intriguing story.