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Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Mark Rylance, Kerry Fox, Timothy Spall, Marianne Faithfull, Alastair Galbraith
Director: Patrice Chereau

The movie, a Golden Bear winner of Best Film at this years Berlin Film festival, revolves around the sex and desire between two lovers in contemporary London.

The man (Mark Rylance) and the woman (Kerry Fox of SHALLOW GRAVE fame) exchange much bodily fluid every Wednesday afternoon, but few words. As the affair becomes more compulsive, both lovers, keen to know what the other does when leaving their love den, start to follow each other, neither liking what they find.

The movie, directed by Patrice Chereau (LA REINE MARGOT), starts off as a French art film (a la last years ROMANCE), with a still life set to the slinky tones of The Tindersticks, before transforming into a real British “true life” monologue (last year’s WONDERLAND). The mixture of accents never really sits comfortably with the very bleak script, but the performances are excellent (especially the two leads and a very poignant Marianne Faithfull) The whole support cast, including the always-excellent Timothy Spall, add real credence to the story of wasted and unfulfilled lives.

The movie has become notorious for it’s sexual content. Don’t be fooled – the performances are best when following the script, in the love scenes themselves, the grunting reminds you of a badly acted 70’s porn movie, the cries of ecstasy sitting uncomfortably with the shots of spotty backsides and bum fluff. It really is about as sexy as a fart in a spacesuit, a celluloid readers wives, gritty realism being replaced by ‘titty’ realism, but less sexy then you could possibly imagine. The fist shot of the two leads getting it together has a Rolling Stones cover in the background. Their most famous hit sprang to mind after the mere seconds of sexual action – come on everybody “I can’t get no…

The first words uttered after this first sexual act sum up the whole experience – “cold?” The “climax” of the movie also sums up the movie; instead of a joyous ” I’m coming” the only words uttered are ” I’m going” in a deadpan fashion. Need I say more? Many people will love this film, the only problem is that the characters in the film need love themselves and can’t really rise to the occasion (no pun intended).

Although I hate to use the term, the only way to describe this movie properly is Dirty Kitchen Sink Drama.

3 out of 6 stars