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In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.
The thirty year-old hard-worker Bobby Grady is married with two children to the frigid Amy Grady and their marriage is in crisis. Bobby is invited to work the night shift at a fashion design studio whose owner believes his talented and introspective designer Joanna Crane is selling his designs to competitors. Bobby accepts the job to make money and please Amy with a bathtub and follows Joanna after hours. He discovers she has a double life, working as a fifty-dollar hooker called China Blue in the red light district and practicing kinky sex with her clients to satisfy their fantasies. Bobby becomes obsessed by China Blue and when the true thief is found, he has sex with her and they have a crush on each other. Meanwhile the insane preacher Rev. Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) decides to save Joanna's soul and stalks her everywhere. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is the film which demonstrated what a great actress Turner is and why she should still be a bigger star today than perhaps she is. She has such a wonderful voice and figure in this film - it's as if the part was written especially for her; perhaps it was! It also shows you how good Perkins was in a role where he could let himself go as over the top as Russell would like him to. He (Perkins) must have loved it. The musical score is supposedly written by Rick Wakeman, but is, of course, derived from Dvorak's New World Symphony. Wakeman does a great job and the music adds to the gloss of the film. The saxophone playing in the lovemaking scene is sensual in the extreme. Anthony Perkins has several monologues that serve as a narrative for the audience. Not for the wowserish, nor is it pornographic (using clever imagery to allude to what is occurring), it is full of very witty, memorable one-liners.
This is easily Kathleen's best film work and really no other American actress has ever shown such intimacy and duality in the sexuality of her character, it is compelling, enthralling and heart breaking. Plus you feel a connection to her because of her vulnerability that she develops as the movie unfolds. Finally her comedic timing is hilarious, yes there are plenty of laugh out scenes in this film too. Perkins is simply brilliant in this role, it seems to be a far cousin of the disturbed mind of Norman Bates, but having grown up in major crimes of the soul and the good manners. Once more, let' s remind the ineffable statement of Nicholas Machiaveli: "The half of the sin is the scandal."
Overall rating: 8 out of 10.
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