In her long-gestating first feature, Adina Pintilie uses bodies of all types to explore the boundaries of intimacy and challenge notions of beauty, which clearly wouldn’t be possible without a significant display of naked flesh. Whether she’s achieved that goal, however, will very much depend on the individual, as “Touch” is a divisive film that aims to address more issues than it can persuasively handle. Seamlessly blending fiction with reality, Pintilie invents a story about an Englishwoman grappling with intimacy issues and weaves in real people guiding her toward being comfortable with her body and the bodies of others.
At its core, the film surprisingly succeeds in nudging audiences to reassess what is and isn’t attractive, but that’s because the personality of Christian Bayerlein, a man crippled with spinal muscular atrophy, brings the viewer beyond how we perceive beauty, allowing us not simply to overlook his deformity but to recognize physical elements that are empirically pleasing. The problem is that Pintilie wants us to make that leap even with people who are all surface, thereby failing to recognize the way character tempers perception. While undoubtedly brave, especially considering how the director puts herself in the film in a clear case of cinema as therapy, “Touch” will be a hard sell.
4.91GB | 2h 03mn | 1920×1080 | mkv