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Maurice Dean Wint,
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A reflection about what makes everyone's life unique, through the story of Noah's family. Noah is an adjuster, having sex with his customers. His wife Hera watches pornographic movies for the Board of Censors. They live with their son Simon and Hera's sister in a show-flat. One day, they meet Bubba, who wants to make a movie in their house. Written by
A mysterious and hysterically dark tale of modernity
To respond to a previous review that wrote that the fact that the censor wife tapes porn from work to show her sister since they share everything together isn't convincing---in the film the wife explains to her boss that she shared what she learned from school to her sister because she couldn't go to school, and that it is like that from where they're from. Egoyan didn't specify where they were from, but it is Armenia. The way I see it, I am convinced because it is a matter of culture and family in a more depraved country, and I got it immediately, and the fact isn't that the sisters' bond is strange, but like the wife said, it is like that where she comes from. To me, the movie is an extreme dramatization of a man too involved in his work, which in the end destroys his life and family in a climate of heightened modernity and an inevitable air of danger. In one of the film's most gruesome scenes, a man is masturbating outside the glass slide doors of the living room at night while the wife's sister is watching one of the taped porn movies. In another scene, the "filmmaker" greets the family and gives them each an identical jacket, designed like tacky franchises sold in amusement parks. There's a certain vulnerability about the way the family members take the jacket, as if the scene is trying to express an awkward sorrow about mass franchise and how it's crudely threw at people and families. What I found very, very amused and surprised by is how throughout the film I expected, in the end, the obscene couple to be exposed to the family then shame and explanation could to be provided as punishment for their deceit and nightmarish violation---but when the husband finally confronts the "filmmaker" while he is about to burn down his living room, he is shown as simply, understandably, INSANE.
Their are certain unnecessary or unsubtle little spots of ambiguity in the film such as the wife's prior, semi-romantic encounter with her foot specialist on the subway, but then again, such details and the film's insistence in unpurifying EVERY relationship the adjuster has with his clients has its own reasons and means of defining and exposing the main characters that enhances the environment of robbed values the film so determinedly tries to create. Atom Egoyan stands out as a filmmaker of "ideas", and in this film as well as most of his images/pace/style express a lyrical modernity through a rich and mysterious vision. He is the most interesting provocateur.
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