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Quint loves the Ewan McGregor/Eva Green end-of-days romantic drama PERFECT SENSE! Sundance 2011!

Published at: Jan. 31, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with some more Sundance reviewing as I begin looking back at my time in Park City. Starting tomorrow you’ll see me in “catch-up mode” as I scramble to knock out the backlogged reviews.

If you talk to regular film fest attendees they’ll likely tell you the best part about watching movie after movie in a festival environment is the joy of “discovery,” getting to that one movie before everybody else. That’s only part of it, though. Being first isn’t all that important to me, but I love to have a movie unfold without knowing every detail, without having seen footage and maybe not even knowing the film’s genre.

That’s where I was going into Perfect Sense. I knew Ewan McGregor was in it and Eva Green was in it and that it was some kind of love story. That’s it. I had no idea it was an end-of-the-world story, the kind that’s more “ends with a whimper” than “ends with a bang,” I had no idea how these two characters get together… nothin’, so the movie just unfolded for me and it felt refreshing, almost like when I’d go see random movies at the mall theater as a kid just because they were playing, not caring about who was in it or what the poster was.

 

 

I know it’s kind of silly to talk about this in a format where it’s crucial to spill at least some things about the movie in question, so don’t take that as a complaint. It’s my business to find out about movies in advance, analyze spy photos, studio stills, rumors, scripts, posters and trailers all before I sit down in a theater to watch said movie. Not only for myself, but for thousands of other people, too.

All I’m saying is it’s nice to have a break from that for a while, catch a film as it takes its first deep drags of oxygen into its lungs and meets the world for the first time and be able to go into it with little pre-expectation.

With all that said, I’m gonna describe some of the movie for ya’ and tell you why it’s in my top 10 Sundance flicks of the fest. So there!

So, we have two people, a scientist and a chef, who are both deeply flawed when it comes to romance. I mean, when you’re as hot as Eva Green or as dashing as Ewan McGregor, the sex life is never going to be a problem. The issue comes with the ability to have a deeper connection. McGregor is in love with food and cooking, but can’t sleep in the same bed as his lover. Green is similarly involved with her job, but is incredibly guarded and comes off as very cold.

 

 

The flick is about these two people whose flaws fit together like a key into a lock meeting just as the world is beginning to unravel. This is a very real world story and the way the apocalypse comes about feels eerily accurate to how it’d really play out.

There’s sporadic instances of people weeping uncontrollably popping up around the world. At first they don’t seem connected until it’s discovered that every single person shortly thereafter loses their sense of smell. It’s unknown if it’s contagious, but soon it spreads to almost everyone.

Our two leads meet each other before this thing spreads too far, Green’s apartment overlooks the back alley where McGregor takes his smoke breaks, but their own issues stand in the way of either acting on the obvious attraction. It is this spreading disease that brings the two together. McGregor is there for Green when she has her crazy depressed bout of crying and soon has his own.

Unfortunately the plague doesn’t stop there. After a period of months another wave hits and slowly but surely throughout the film every single one of humanities senses is stripped away.

It’s a hell of a ticking clock for this relationship and probably the only scenario that would force a level of maturity into this pairing strong enough to make their relationship work.

Sure, it doesn’t hurt that director David Mackenzie cast two of the prettiest people in the business, but the real appeal of the romance is how McGregor and Green play these two people, almost like lost souls that find each other just in time.

It’s a touching romance against the backdrop of pandemonium. The reality of the sci-fi elements is mirrored by the flawed reality of human love. While on the surface level this film comes across as a fairly pessimistic take on love and human nature I found the dark finale actually painted a positive light on humans as a species.

The flick is filmed like a romantic drama, it’s taken as seriously as any character drama in tone, photography and pacing, but there’s always the backdrop of humanity’s undoing that makes for a unique movie-going experience.

While the film isn’t perfect (there’s a moment that splits Green and McGregor that works as a dramatic device, but doesn’t feel real or earned), it’s so earnest and so well made that any minor bump in the road is easily overlooked. Very much recommend this one.

 

 

-Quint
quint@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 31, 2011, 3 p.m. CST

    I love this kind of movie, like "Miracle Mile"

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Romance against a background of societal collapse/global apocalypse... sounds pretty rockin'.

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 3 p.m. CST

    The question we all want to ask, Quint...

    by Box_Bruceleitner

    ...is there any "Dreamers"-style Eva Green nudity?

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    SOUNDS INTERESTING

    by Meadowe

    Ewan usually has good fliqs, and the premise for this one is kind of original so I'll give it a shot.

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 3:51 p.m. CST

    spoilers?

    by darth_hideous

    like the ones you didn't include for RED STATE?

  • Since it's an end of the world story, I thought of the end of Fight Club, how they're holding hands when the presumably empty buildings are collapsing around them. But then I read your review how the world ends with a whimper instead of a bang, and it reminded me of that old Simpsons episode where Bart's comet or meteor or whatever is threatening to destroy them but it ends up burning up in the atmosphere for the most part and is reduced to a small rock...a rock that of course still destroys the bunker they *would have* been in, if they all hadn't felt guilty about tossing out Flanders and went to join him.

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Fuck that shit

    by Grando

    Spud & Renton re-united!

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST

    The end of the world...

    by gdprof27

    must be batshit insane if it's going to make Wedge break down and cry!

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Spud & Rent!

    by -Halfscan-

    Likin' that first pic

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 4:39 p.m. CST

    End of Days here in Blizzard Country

    by TisketMaster

    It feels like the end of the world is upon me. Forecast: 16" snow...40mph gusts. Hold on to ya butts!

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 4:45 p.m. CST

    "Miracle Mile"(spoiler)

    by nolan bautista

    Best line was w/ the drunken guy screaming at a passing nuclear missle: "That ones going all the way to Tia-Juana!!"..great flick!!..look it up!

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Surprised they didn't call it NONSENSE

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

    And, well, that's my entire contribution to this talkback.

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 6:23 p.m. CST

    The X Effect

    by Majereuk

    This idea reminds me of a very old SF short story called 'The X Effect' in which the universe is proved to be shrinking to the point where the various wavelengths of light become too 'big' for anyone to see. So red vanishes first and so on up the spectrum, until the final light is extinguished with the authorities still telling everyone not to panic. Freaked me out at the time, I can tell you.

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Now that's an apocalypse!

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    So this is one them there science fictional films.

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 6:54 p.m. CST

    if braindrain is a troll...

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    then what is the internet jargon for someone who uses multiple handles and does a terrible job of concealing his identity? does "loser" work in that case? ie. LowesTranney/deadflagblues/viggeomortensen/telemarketer/ryan_the_retard/etc etc etc braindrain, you keep up the retarded dumbness. at least youre not that other guy

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 7 p.m. CST

    I love the new animation...

    by MagicJesus

    Ever since The Shining I've wanted a beej from a furry in a spooky abandoned hotel...

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Eva Green = I'm sold

    by Rebel Scumb

    I actually loved MONSTERS, so this might be right up my alley.

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 8:27 p.m. CST

    telemarketer

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    if that is true then you should get a new handle because you shall be forever known as Fettitular other handle. also, your trolling is currently worst than braindrain's (and braindrain is a retard)

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 8:43 p.m. CST

    "They five four or five handles" --braindrain

    by yourSTEPDADDY

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 9 p.m. CST

    "Thanks for proving my point you slut."

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    lol thanks for the compliment. youre a ok in my book (for retards). but yea, ignore telemarketer, you know he is our common enemy (fettitular)

  • Jan. 31, 2011, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Or...

    by dockealy

    makes me think of that movie about blindness with Julianne Moore..What was that called? Oh, yeah, Blindness.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:21 a.m. CST

    A chef w/ no smell or taste?? Hoo boy

    by VAwitch

    The concept intrigues me. While Ewan's work strikes me as uneven, one can't say he doesn't take differing roles. Color me anticipating.