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Bad Movie Tuesday: Perfect Sense

July 10, 2012

Perfect Sense is bleak, unintentionally hilarious and features Eva Green eating lipstick and toothpaste before she loses her sense of taste.

I get that the movie is about the dramatic loss of all senses. However, before each sense disappears the director included intense moments of pretentiousness. The beginning of the film features people breaking down in wild moments of depression. The scenes reek of a first time director and his artistic vision. His vision includes making Ewan McGregor put his head against things.


These moments remind me of a quote by Roger Ebert when he wrote about the nice film Jeff, Who Lives at Home.

“One stylistic note: In nearly every scene, the Duplass brothers use quick little zooms in and out. Given the usual meaning of a sudden zoom in the grammar of the cinema (they translate as whoa!), these have no meaning at all. They’re simply devices to remind us that the story isn’t really happening but is being directed. Instead of whoa!, they translate as Duplass! They’re good directors; they’ll outgrow this.”

David Mackenzie directed this film and it proves he has talent. The film was a hit at Sundance and the Ediburgh film festival but he over directs several moments which cheapen the dramatic appeal. The visuals are top-notch and he managed to land a stellar cast. However, I hope he grows out of his unintentionally hilarious bouts of pretentiousness. Watching Green voraciously eat lipstick is depressing and it takes away from the story because of how serious it is treated. There is an entire montage of people eating whole unskinned fish, trash and mayonnaise. If this was such a personal story why cut to a man shoveling lard into his mouth. The scenes are supposed to be weighty but instead made me say “oh, geesh.”

Andrew Lapin from NPR sums it up when he wrote:

“It’s difficult to impart feelings of profound sadness with an image of Ewan McGregor shoving a stick of butter in his mouth.”

Perfect Sense is a movie about people slowly losing their senses. Ewan McGregor is a chef and Eva Green is a doctor. They eat soap together, they cry together and they eventually can’t see each other. The momentum comes crashing down whenever a sense disappears. the tagline for the film  is “without love there is nothing.” Without the directing flourishes this could have been a nice/bleak love story.

The look is good, the performances are fine but it is a bleak train on pretentious wheels.

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