Sunday, October 07, 2007

You're Gorgers

Feast Of Love, Odeon Birmingham, Friday October 5 2007, 3.15pm.

Based on the popular novel by Charles Baxter, Robert Benton's Feast Of Love features several attractive people falling in and out of love in the hip location of Portland, Oregon under the watchful eye of Morgan Freeman's character, a university professor taking a leave of absence to recover from the loss of his only son who died as a result of a heroin addiction he knew nothing about.

The ensemble set-up, interlocking stories and casual nude setpieces gives an impression of a film that's reaching for the feel of the work of Robert Altman and Alan Rudolph, but sadly Benton's more commercial sensibilities means that Feast Of Love feels glossy and superficial in comparison to those auteurs at their best. In particular, you never get the feeling that these characters have a life outside of the scenes we watch, the missing shades and depth leaving the viewer with little to relate to their emotional trials and tribulations. The lesbian romance that kickstarts the plot suffers more than most with the simplistic shorthand treatment dictated by multiple plotlines, culminating in a comically brief sex scene then promptly forgotten about for the rest of the movie - cold feet in the cutting-room, maybe?

Where Benton's commercial sensibilities do work in the favour of the film is the strong hand taken to tie up the story strands towards a genuinely moving climax. Feast Of Love does almost a good enough job of this to convince you the rest of the movie was more of a cohesive whole than it was. Almost, but not quite, meaning this feast will leave you wanting more substantial fare at your next sitting. But no film is all bad that gives us a new catchprase to use for calming down an agitated person with a dubious past - 'Easy, Sleazy!'.



Post a Comment

<< Home