On a gray, foggy morning outside a large Polish city, Zhenia (Alec Utgoff), a masseur from the East, enters the lives of the wealthy residents of a gated community. Using hypnotic, almost magical techniques to get a residence permit, he starts working. The well-to-do residents in their cookie-cutter homes seemingly have it all, but they all suffer from an inner sadness, some unexplained longing. The attractive and mysterious newcomer’s hands heal, and Zhenia’s eyes seem to penetrate their souls. To them, his Russian accent sounds like a song from the past, a memory of their seemingly safer childhoods. Read More »
On her latest assignment, a journalist for Elle immerses herself in a prostitution ring run by university students. Read More »
Jacek loves heavy metal, his girlfriend and his dog. His family, his small hometown, his fellow parishioners all see him as an amusing freak. Jacek works at the construction site of what it is supposed to become the tallest statue of Jesus in the world. When a severe accident disfigures him completely, all eyes turn to him as he undergoes the first facial transplant in the country. Read More »
A busy attorney, worried that his anorexic daughter Olga might try to harm herself, since she’s still grieving over her recently deceased mother, sends her to see a psychiatrist, Anna, who’s dealing with her own loss in an unusual way. Read More »
Polish writer-director Małgorzata Szumowska has created an interesting but massively preposterous and supercilious film, saucer-eyed on the subject of bought sex and students taking high-end escort work; it stars Juliette Binoche as Anne, a Paris magazine journalist writing an in-depth piece based on anonymous interviews with two young women, Charlotte (Anaïs Demoustier) and Alicja (Joanna Kulig. As they reveal the non-PC possibility that they are not necessarily demeaned by the work, Anne begins to question her own relationship. Like all movie journalists, her workload is quaintly imagined, and Binoche does some embarrassing “arguing with her editor on the phone” acting. The final dinner-party sequence is toe-curlingly predictable. That said, Elles has some sharp insights into the secrets and lies involved, and the acoustic guitar sing-along between one of the students and a pathetic client is a great scene.
Peter Bradshaw, Guardian Read More »