Over the last few years, drag queen Trixie Mattel has solidified herself as one of the most successful, talented and hard-working drag race alumni to have ever come from the show. If she’s not winning All Stars 3 she’s on tour, if she’s not on tour she’s releasing hit country albums, working with fellow queen and good friend Katya on their YouTube show or launching her own makeup line.
But it’s not all glamour and great wigs, adoring fans and hit songs. As her new documentary Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts proves, sometimes being a drag superstar isn’t all its hyped up to be.
Produced by World of Wonder and beautifully crafted by director Nick Zeig-Owens, Moving Parts follows Trixie in beginnings of 2018. During this time, she has landed a TV show with Katya, is competing on drag race again as an All-star, is making a new album and touring a new show.
Moving Parts fearlessly explores the good and the bad of Trixie’s life as a drag superstar over this period, leaving no stone unturned, however uncomfortable it is to watch. In the first 15 minutes, as I saw Katya decide to quit drag, leaving her relationship with Trixie – both professional and personal- hanging in the balance, I quickly realised that the documentary wasn’t going to sugar coat anything. I thought this was one of the best aspects of Moving Parts; it details Trixie’s life in an honest and real way. There is no attempt to cover the negatives with glitz and glamour. The rawness is relatable and refreshing.
The documentary shows Trixie at her most vulnerable, crying alone, grieving for a friendship she believes is lost, open in telling the story of her abusive childhood and expressing worries about fans not wanting to see her without Katya.
Although it’s not all sad and negative; we watch Trixie at a high point in her career, making achievement after achievement. Through a sit-down interview, we learn about her feelings as all this all plays out, about her life before drag and the realities of life post drag race.
Moving Parts is light hearted in places and dark in others, exploring serious issues like alcoholism and abuse, whilst highlighting what it’s like to be a successful drag performer. This is all done with Trixie’s typically dark, inappropriate sense of humour and view on life guiding the story. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry at times.
I was charmed by her wit and floored by her ability to keep going when things were looking down.
By the end of the documentary, Trixie’s relationship with Katya is on the mend and she’s in a good place. There’s a lot covered in Moving Parts, but I got the sense that Trixie’s relationship with Katya was the heart of film. Everything kept coming back to her important relationship with her friend and I don’t think the end of the documentary would’ve been as hopeful and inspiring without their reunion.
Overall, Moving Parts was a GREAT documentary. Although perhaps I’m biased as a huge Trixie fan. Maybe a non-fan wouldn’t have been as emotionally affected as I was, but I left the movie theatre significantly moved (and an even bigger fan of Trixie if that’s actually possible). Her creativity and ambition were inspiring, her resilience and ability to push through the bad made me feel as though I could do anything too. Watching a few months of her wonderful and weird life play out was such a funny, inspiring, oftentimes thought-provoking joy and I would absolutely give the documentary five stars.
Written by Contributor Ashleigh House