Urban Cinefile
AFTRS Open Day 2014
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - Edition No 912 
Reckoning

Search SEARCH FOR A REVIEW
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Newsletter Options - Registration is FREE Help/Contact

FEELING SEXY

SYNOPSIS:
Vicki and Greg (Susie Porter and Tamblyn Lord) were long-time sweethearts. Theyíre now married and have children. Greg works as a doctor at a large hospital, leaving Vicki to run the house. The pressures of coping with children and the thousand and one tasks around the house are frustrating Vicki. Her life has become drudgery; and while Greg still loves her, it seems he never has time for her with his onerous hours at the hospital. Vicki longs for some romance, a sexual spark to ignite their marriage; and to return to her first love, painting. When a vacancy opens up for a teacher at an art college, she jumps at the chance. There she encounters a handsome art student with more on his mind than just painting.

"One of the great pleasures of life is surprise, and Feeling Sexy has a surprise button. But it also has an unsophisticated (in the nicest sense, as in unconscious) gravity belied by its surface of frolick. Deep within it is the day to day reality of everyday lives, and that is something of great value, an observation and a connection that only documentaries usually achieve. Not surprising, really, considering two factors: 1) Davida Allen is a painter, and as such, she SEES things, not just looks at them. 2) She is using some personal experience here, so it is like 'method' filmmaking. The motivations and emotional sources are genuine. We feel it all. In economical style, Feeling Sexy delivers a lasting stamp of affection for its characters that is at once simple yet not simplistic. Colour it red."
Andrew L. Urban

"Feeling Sexy is simply one of the most delightful cinematic journeys you could hope to experience. Fresh and fabulous from start to finish, this snapshot of a relationship that begins with romance before progressing to dirty nappies and beyond, is an absolute charmer. Davida Allen's use of the visual, coupled with her original storytelling techniques in her debut film, form a compelling interlude. Allen has approached filmmaking from a different artistic springboard, and her future is rosy. Reality, fantasy and wishful thinking are beautifully woven into this tale of hopes, dreams and coming to terms with reality. Susie Porter steals every scene; she is vivacious, pert and totally endearing throughout. Porter finds the magic balance between comedy and drama; her sense of the ridiculous is always within bounds of credibility. Part of the charm of Feeling Sexy is its understatement - we are given enough information to tantalise but never too much so as to stop the imagination from working. Apart from the two leading characters, the effective technique of representing babies, lovers and would-be sex objects generically is used to great effect. A brilliant showcase for all concerned, Feeling Sexy is reflects an effervescent joie de vivre, which is both affecting and contagious. Drop your doldrums, go and enjoy one of the best Australian films you're likely to see all year."
Louise Keller

"Davida Allen is best known as an Archibald prize winning artist. On the evidence of Feeling Sexy, she can now justifiably add "film director" to her resume. Her first film is a witty, joyous exploration of a womanís search for fulfillment in life. Given Allenís background, Feeling Sexy might be viewed as a series of filmed "paintings" about love, lust, obsession and frustration. But sheís brought together the series of vignettes that make up the film into a cohesive and satisfying whole. Itís structure reminded me a little of Godardís A Bout de Souffle (Breathless); jump-cutting between seemingly unconnected events with a (generally) minimalist approach to sound and production design. Like Breathless, this film has a lot of fun with its subject matter. The story is brought to life by a remarkable performance from Susie Porter as Vicki. She runs the gamut of emotions in her portrayal of a woman looking for something more than four walls and nappies. Tamblyn Lord as Greg has a less developed character; but he provides solid support for Porter. There are also cameo appearances from Jack Thompson and Lindy Morrison (ex- Go Between). If I have any real criticism of the film, itís that itís a little too short to fully explore some of the issues. But that shouldnít detract from your enjoyment of this well-made and passionate film. And for all you men out there, donít be put off by thinking this is a "womanís movie". Go and see it - it may even provide some real insight into the lives of those weíre meant to be closest to."
David Edwards

"Some people will like this film a lot. Others will find it really irritating. Iím sort of in the middle. Davida Allen has a freer and more imaginative sense of style than most Australian directors: the very short, elliptical scenes, concentrating on bodies in interior spaces, have an intimate, scaled-down quality thatís also a bit oppressive, suggesting both an everyday sensuality and the problems of accomodating this within cramped Aussie suburbia. Despite a shorter-than-average running time, the film does have the impact of a feature, but its condensing, simplifying technique means that all the characters except Vicki have to be sketched in with drastic speed. Greg is a decent, straightlaced private-schoolboy type, Hugo is an available young hunk, and thatís really all we know about them. Basically, everything takes place inside Vickiís head: thus, itís often hard to sort out the frequent corny fantasy sequences from Ďreal life.í (In several ways this could be seen as a companion piece to both Eyes Wide Shut and Catherine Breillatís forthcoming Romance.) As a portrait of one womanís frankly Ďunreasonableí needs and desires, the film relies too often on a kind of cloying, faux-naif self-revelation that threatens to be merely embarrassing (especially at the end, when we finally get a glimpse of Vickiís artwork). Whether you can deal with it or not might partly depend on whether you sympathise more with Vicki or with her increasingly testy husband. (ĎDonít you ever think about anyone but yourself?í he snaps at one point.) It also might depend on whether Ė with her freckled, down-to-earth, stubbornly physical presence Ė you actually do find Susie Porter sexy. Itís up to you, but this is definitely worth a look."
Jake Wilson



Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

Reaad Andrew L. Urban's interview with
SUSIE PORTER

Andrew L. Urban goes ON SET

FEELING SEXY (M)
(AUS)

CAST: Susie Porter, Tamblyn Lord, Jack Thompson, Lindy Morrison

PRODUCER: Glenys Rowe

DIRECTOR: Davida Allen

SCRIPT: Davida Allen

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Garry Phillips

EDITOR: Heidi Kenessy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hillary Austin

RUNNING TIME: 60 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Niche Pictures

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 23, 1999 - Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth (other cities January 13, 2000)

VIDEO RELEASER: July 3, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Siren Entertainment







SciFi Film Festival
© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2014