IRINA PALM (Sam Garbarski). 103 minutes. Opens Friday (June 13). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NN
So let me get this straight. Maggie (Marianne Faithfull), a widow struggling financially, finds work in London’s Soho sex industry to finance her grandson’s medical treatments.
She administers hand jobs – through a hole in the wall – so well that she becomes the best in the business, earning the name Irina Palm, even though almost immediately after she starts working, she has to switch to her left hand because her right arm suffers from penis elbow. (Get it?)
Soon she’s experiencing personal liberation, challenging the hypocrisies of her suburban friends and maybe even getting some action of her own.
Sound like something written by a bunch of guys? You betcha.The film strikes almost no authentic notes. Sequences inside the sex club, bathed in red light, are shiny and sexy – not nearly grim enough. Camera angles designed to hide what Maggie’s actually doing create ludicrous points of view. The only real -moment emerges out of an angry outburst by Maggie’s son (Kevin Bishop) that speaks some truth about the pain of parents with sick children.
Faithfull completists – and I know you’re out there somewhere – won’t want to miss it. Chubby and frumped up, she’s terrific.
Otherwise, I’m not buying.