review by Alison Grinter
Starring: Eva Green, Ewan McGregor | 15 | 92mins
Bond girl Eva Green plays Susan, an ambitious epidemiologist who tentatively embarks on a new relationship with a chef, Michael (Ewan McGregor). So far, so positive. However, during the course of her work she discovers the outbreak of a bizarre new epidemic which initially causes outpourings of grief among its victims. In subsequent waves, the disease, which quickly spreads around the globe, also causes sufferers to lose their sense of smell, taste and eventually hearing, leading to the gradual breakdown of society.
Perfect Sense doesn’t seem to want to commit to any particular genre: is it science fiction? Is it a love story? There’s no reason why the film can’t be both but the big problem is that there isn’t much of a narrative arc going on for either of the intertwining stories. What’s more, the writer seems to have missed a trick by not setting the blossoming love affair against a more apocalyptic backdrop. The world might be falling apart but this doesn’t appear to threaten the protagonists.
The disease raises intriguing questions: would life be worth living if you lost your sensory perceptions? How would this sensory deprivation impact on love and sex? Director David Mackenzie, who brought us offbeat romance Hallam Foe, hints at these ideas but doesn’t explore them in any satisfying depth. Still, the cinematography is lush, painting rainy Glasgow in a poetic light, and the leads deliver intense, affecting performances. The startling image of a ravenous Green devouring a bouquet of flowers has to be seen to be believed.?
Good for: Anyone who likes their love stories with a side of disaster
Midnight ?in Paris
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams 12A | 94mins
It’s been a long time since Woody Allen made a truly great film but even the cult director’s sub-par efforts, such as Vicky Cristina Barcelona, are enjoyable explorations of the awkwardness and neuroses inherent in love. His latest, Midnight In Paris, depicts an American couple forced to face up to the shortcomings of their relationship ?in the city of light and love.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Guillermo del Toro, the innovative Mexican filmmaker who brought us fairytale horror gems Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage helped pen this tale about a young girl Sally (Bailee Madison) sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in a Gothic mansion. Things get interesting when Sally discovers monsters living in the basement, offering the lonely girl a sense of belonging.? On general release