Tuesday, January 06, 2009

IRINA PALM - weak tragicomedy redeemed by a single scene

Just got round to seeing this odd little drama from German director Sam Garbarski. It stars Marianne Faithful as a frumpy widow called Maggie who reluctantly becomes a sex worker to pay for her grandson's medical treatment. The dialogue and acting are rather clumsy and the production values are poor. I was also unimpressed by the hammy treatment of Maggie's incipient romance with sex-club owner Miki (Miki Manojlović) and Kevin Bishop's unconvincing histrionics when he discovers what his mum does for a living. But, to my great surprise, the movie was redeemed by a brilliant bit of black comedy when Maggie is goaded into telling her bridge four the big secret. The humour is quietly played - devastating - and Faithful really is convincing as a meek woman who has found her strength and self-respect by giving the best hand-jobs in London!

IRINA PALM played Berlin 2007 and opened in 2007 in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, Finland, Norway, Poland, Australia, Portugal, Japan, Sweden and Turkey. It opened in 2008 in Romania, Estonia, the US, Denmark, Hungary, Mexico, the UK, Slovenia, Colombia and Argentina. It is available on DVD.

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