See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, August 9, 2000

Every which way

Hear me, see me, feel me, etc., in a parable of awakening.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Canadian writer-director Jeremy Podeswa’s second film is based on a gimmick, but quickly moves beyond the obvious (characters defined by one of the senses) to create a lovely tale of unexpected second chances. The multiple characters who populate Podeswa’s tale are all city dwellers who feel strangely isolated, unable to see the world beyond the rigid boundaries they’ve established.

It matters little to Rona (Mary-Louise Parker) that the beautiful cakes she designs are nearly inedible. She’s concerned with the imminent arrival of a man she met while vacationing in Italy, who could potentially complicate (and spice up) her life. Her regular confidante is the equally neurotic Robert (Daniel MacIvor), a house cleaner who has come to believe that he can detect the scent of love. While Rona is rattled by change, Robert is methodically tracking down his former lovers, trying to detect the smell of a missed opportunity for happiness.

Meanwhile, in Rona’s building, other lives are quietly falling apart. Ruth (Gabrielle Rose) continues to provide healing massages while unable to reach out to her increasingly distant and sullen teenage daughter, Rachel (Nadia Litz). Richard (Philippe Volter), whose medical specialty is the eyes, finds himself slowly going deaf, and he commences a journey to listen to his favorite sounds before they’re gone.

The various stories are tied together by the disappearance of a child who was in Rachel’s care while Ruth was giving a massage to her mother, Anna (Molly Parker). The immediacy of this situation serves to shock these characters out of their complacency, forcing them out of their ruts to explore new possibilities.

There’s more than a little Eric Rohmer in The Five Senses, with its desire to provide these characters with a small epiphany and some welcome happiness, yet Podeswa also employs the cool detachment of his contemporary, Atom Egoyan. It’s a particular tone that can best be described as autumnal, that time when the air is getting chilly, but the sun still radiates warmth. Just as these characters are preparing themselves for another Toronto winter, they are granted the emotional equivalent of an early spring.

Opens Friday exclusively at the Maple Art Theatre (4135 W. Maple, west of Telegraph). Call 248-542-0180.

Serena Donadoni writes about film and culture for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation