Based on a true story, 'Beautiful Boxer' tells the tale of Nong Toom, a professional Muay Thai kick boxer who turns his desire to be a woman into a marketable gimmick by wearing makeup in the ring. As narrated to a reporter shortly before his long-awaited sex change operation, Toom's life story is alternately funny, moving, thrilling, and straight-up bizarre; we see him growing up in a rural Thai province, concealing his love of make up and flowers, training to become a Muay boxer under the patient tutelage of his mentor and rising through the ranks thanks to a natural grace and ferocious technique. This film is a success on all counts, anchored by a sweet and unshowy performance by real-life kickboxing star Suwan. The Muay Thai boxing matches are exciting, and the gender-identity issues are presented with sensitivity and wit. There are many large crowd scenes, some crazy dream sequences, and a surreal career-ending match in Japan against lady wrestling champ Kyoko Inoue (as herself). This is one of many great films to come out of Thailand in early 2000, establishing its director, Ekachai Uekrongtham, as a major talent. It's is in Thai, English and Japanese with English subtitles.