The Five Senses

The Five Senses


Reviewed by: Trinity

The Five Senses is an allegorical tale about entwined lives and the mingling of the senses. Each one of a quintet of characters stands for one of the fives senses: Rona, the cakemaker with no sense of taste; Robert the cleaner looking for the scent of love; the masseuse; her daughter Rachel, the voyeur; and Richard the eye-doctor gradually losing his hearing.

Their paths are brought together briefly when a little girl goes missing but each is still uncertain of where the future will lie. There is the same sense of clinical, austere beauty that envelops The Five Senses which is also present in the works of other Canadian directors such as Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg.

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Some of the conversations between Robert and Rona sparkle with wit, but mainly this film is about emotional detachment, the suburbs of love. This detachment means that, even though the film is immaculately shot and has an outstanding cast, there's nothing really at the heart of the film for the audience to connect with. At one point Robert says to Rona: "You look good" to which she replies "Of course I look good, all I do is fuck and eat." The Five Senses is very much the same - it looks good, but it doesn't really do much.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Ensemble piece as characters' lives cross after the disappearance of a toddler.
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Angus Wolfe Murray ***

Director: Jeremy Podeswa

Writer: Jeremy Podeswa

Starring: Mary Louise Parker, Daniel MacIvor, Gabrielle Rose, Molly Parker, Nadia Litz, Phillipe Volter

Year: 1999

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Canada


EIFF 1999

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