IMDb > The Five Senses (1999)
The Five Senses
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Jeremy Podeswa (written by)
View company contact information for The Five Senses on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 December 1999 (UK) See more »
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses. -- Oscar Wilde
Interconnected stories examine situations involving the five senses. Touch is represented by a massage therapist who is treating a woman... See more » | Add synopsis »
4 wins & 15 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Beautiful, thoughtful, touching, unusual. See more (38 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Molly Parker ... Anna Miller

Gabrielle Rose ... Ruth Seraph
Elize Frances Stolk ... Amy Lee Miller

Nadia Litz ... Rachel Seraph

Mary-Louise Parker ... Rona

Daniel MacIvor ... Robert
Philippe Volter ... Dr. Richard Jacob
Clinton Walker ... Carl
Astrid Van Wieren ... Richard's Patient

Brendan Fletcher ... Rupert
Paul Bettis ... Richard's Doctor

James Allodi ... Justin

Gavin Crawford ... Airport Clerk
Sandi Stahlbrand ... TV Reporter #1
Amanda Soha ... Sylvie
Gisèle Rousseau ... Odile (as Gisele Rousseau)

Damon D'Oliveira ... Todd

Marco Leonardi ... Roberto 'Luigi'
Sonia Laplante ... Monica, Girl with Roberto
Janet van de Graaf ... Policewoman (as Janet Van De Graaff)
Paul Soles ... Mr. Bernstein
Tara Rosling ... Rebecca
Richard Clarkin ... Raymond
Clare Coulter ... Clare
Roman Podhora ... Policeman #1
Shaun O'Mara ... Park Cruiser
Glen Peloso ... Park Cruiser

Pascale Bussières ... Gail

Tracy Wright ... Alex
Darren O'Donnell ... Medic
Greg Ellwand ... Policeman #2
Ola Sturik ... TV Reporter #2
Daniel Taylor ... Singer

Directed by
Jeremy Podeswa 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jeremy Podeswa  written by

Produced by
Shimmy Brandes .... associate producer
Ted East .... executive producer
Camelia Frieberg .... producer
David R. Ginsburg .... executive producer
Charlotte Mickie .... executive producer
Dean Perlmutter .... line producer: pre-production
Jeremy Podeswa .... producer
Regine Schmid .... associate producer (uncredited)
Wolfram Tichy .... co-executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Alexina Louie 
Alex Pauk 
Cinematography by
Gregory Middleton 
Film Editing by
Wiebke von Carolsfeld  (as Wiebke Von Carolsfeld)
Production Design by
Taavo Soodor 
Art Direction by
James Phillips  (as R. James Phillips)
Set Decoration by
Darryl Dennis Deegan 
Erica Milo 
Costume Design by
Gersha Phillips 
Makeup Department
Sylvain Cournoyer .... key makeup artist
Debra Johnson .... key hair stylist
Mary Monforte .... assistant makeup artist
Jeanette Stawiarski .... assistant hair stylist
Production Management
Brian Freeman .... executive in charge of production: CBC
Paul Spike Lees .... production manager
Marlene Rodgers .... executive in charge of production: CBC (as Marlene Rogers)
Nina Sparks .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bryn Caron .... third assistant director
Miguel Gallego .... second assistant director
Trent Hurry .... first assistant director
David C. Malcolm .... trainee assistant director (as David Malcolm)
Ed Sinclair .... second unit director
Art Department
Rudy Braun .... second assistant art director
Hamish Buchanan .... graphics
Larry Burkam .... set dresser
Erik Jacobsen .... set dresser
Vanessa Le Page .... cake maker: Rona's cake (as Vanessa Lepage)
Anita Marcotte .... cake maker: Rona's cake
Mario Moreira .... assistant property master
James R. Murray .... property master (as James Murray)
Jim Paterson .... cake maker: Rona's cake
Chris Stevenson .... set dresser
Abbie Weinberg .... property assistant
Sound Department
Eric Apps .... adr recordist
Terry Burke .... foley artist
Ray Campbell .... assistant sound effects editor
Joseph Henoud .... sound: second unit
Richard Hurst .... boom operator
Janice Ierulli .... dialogue editor
Martin Gwynn Jones .... trainee sound editor
Garrett Kerr .... sound effects editor
Mishann Lau .... assistant dialogue editor
Martin Lee .... re-recording engineer
Kirk Lynds .... sound re-recording assistant
Kim Meadows .... boom operator
Jennifer Miller .... foley assistant
Angie Pajek .... adr editor (as E. Angie Pajek)
Ian Rankin .... foley recordist
Lou Solakofski .... re-recording engineer
Philip Stall .... sound recordist
Pamela Ward .... boom operator
David Yonson .... adr recordist
Ed Douglas .... additional dialogue editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Tim Good .... special effects coordinator
Darren Marsman .... special effects key
Camera and Electrical Department
Sandor Ajzenstat .... grip
Terry Banting .... gaffer (as Terry J. Banting)
Richard Belleville .... electrician (as Rick Belleville)
Simon Brown .... second assistant camera
Robert Campbell .... daily electrician
Dennis de Souza .... daily electrician (as Dennis De Souza)
Johnnie Eisen .... still photographer
Dave Erlichman .... key grip (as David Erlichman)
Cinar Eryasar .... electrician
David Findlay .... camera operator: second unit
Rick Gallagher .... video playback operator
Edward Garkavi .... best boy electric
Monica Guddat .... first assistant camera
Michael L. Hall .... daily electrician
Todd Moores .... grip
Wayne Robinson .... dolly grip
Simon Shohet .... daily electrician
Michael Tsouras .... camera trainee
Andreas Waldherr .... best boy grip
Hugh Young .... generator operator
Casting Department
John Buchan .... casting: Toronto
Jennifer Capraru .... secondary casting
Bradley A. Flett .... extras casting (as Brad Flett)
Juliette Ménager .... casting: France (as Juliette Menager)
Adrienne Stern .... casting: New York
Julia Tait .... casting: Toronto
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sandra Schmidt .... assistant costume designer
Adrienne Tyson .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Diane Brunjes .... trainee assistant editor
Roderick Deogrades .... first assistant editor
Chris Hinton .... color timer
Andrew Mandziuk .... on-line editor
Colin Moore .... video colorist
Ed Sinclair .... editor: second unit
Pierre Cadieux .... colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Anne Armstrong .... musician: violin
Erica Goodman .... musician: harp
Tom Hazlitt .... musician: bass
Fujiko Imajishi .... musician: violin
Stuart Laughton .... musician: trumpet
Matt Lebar .... musician: accordion
Christine Little .... musician: alto flute
Blair Mackay .... musician: percussion
Alex Pauk .... conductor: Esprit orchestra
Douglas Perry .... musician: viola
Paul Widner .... musician: cello
Jeff Wolpert .... music engineer
Jeff Wolpert .... music mixer
Lesley Young .... musician: oboe
Transportation Department
Aleck Duncan .... driver
Jason Fagan .... driver
Tim Fagan .... transportation coordinator
Carlo Flinn .... driver
Howard Holden .... driver
Paul Hughes .... driver
Glenn Douglas Koyanagi .... driver
Brian Marwick .... driver
Dave Marwick .... driver
Minon White .... driver
Mike Wood .... driver
Other crew
Michael Achtman .... script workshop participant
Coralie Brady .... assistant location manager (as Coralie Nott)
Max Burke-Phillips .... production coordinator
William Cameron .... title designer
Anthony Carovillano .... craft service: Starcraft
David Collins .... production assistant: second unit
Bradd Cowan .... location assistant
Prudence Emery .... unit publicist
Diane Flacks .... script workshop participant
Dylan Fuhr .... location assistant
David Gale .... script workshop participant
Caroline Gillis .... script workshop participant
Shirley Granger .... accountant
Eliza Haddad .... producer: second unit
Kim Harkness .... production assistant
Matti Huhta .... script supervisor
Sarah Hurdleby .... craft service: Starcraft
Ian Jarvis .... production assistant: second unit
Kirsten Johnson .... script workshop participant
Cory Kinney .... location manager
Lacia Kornylo .... head of production: Alliance Atlantis
Martyn Krys .... production lawyer
Peter Lynch .... script workshop participant
Daniel MacIvor .... story editor
Ruth Marshall .... script workshop participant
Noeleen McCann .... consultant: sign language
Sheona McDonald .... script supervisor
Kelly McEvenue .... script workshop facilitator
Erin McMurty .... script workshop participant
Julia Nathanson .... assistant production coordinator
James O'Reilly .... script workshop participant
Peter Olczak .... craft service: Starcraft
Alisa Palmer .... script workshop participant
Julius Podeswa .... painter: Clare's paintings
Marcel Proust .... author: excerpt from "Remembrance of Things Past"
Fiji Robinson .... assistant to director
Andrew Rosen .... production assistant: Alliance Atlantis
Lillian Sarafinchan .... location scout
Judy Shiner .... script workshop facilitator
Geeta Sondhi .... assistant to producer
Ingrid Veninger .... child acting coach
Jay Vettese .... production assistant
Clinton Walker .... script workshop participant
Alicia Wicinski .... assistant to production manager (as Alicja Wicinski)
Chris Williamson .... assistant to director
Chris Williamson .... cast coordinator
Andrea Wood .... business and legal affairs: Alliance Atlantis
Paul Zimic .... production assistant
Allison Anders .... special thanks
Lynn Auerbach .... special thanks: Sundance
Robyn Basian .... thanks
Brenda Blake .... special thanks: Fund
Fred Brennan .... thanks
Amnon Buchbinder .... special thanks
Robert Caswell .... special thanks
Paul Cox .... thanks
Doug Dales .... thanks: P.S. Production Services
Tom Deacon .... thanks
Lisa deWilde .... special thanks: TMN (as Lisa De Wilde)
Ed Douglas .... thanks
Atom Egoyan .... special thanks
Richard Feren .... thanks
Thom Fitzgerald .... special thanks
Jill Fraser .... thanks
John Fulton .... special thanks: Telefilm
Elinor Rose Galbraith .... thanks (as Elinor Galbraith)
Teddy Gentry .... thanks (as Theodore Gentry)
John Greyson .... special thanks
Nicole Guillemet .... special thanks: Sundance
Marjorie Haynes .... thanks
Bill House .... special thanks: Telefilm
Guntar Kravis .... thanks
Mitch Lackie .... thanks
Tony Lee .... thanks
Paul Lyptak .... thanks
Wendy MacKeigan .... special thanks: Fund
Armistead Maupin .... special thanks
Steve Mayhew .... thanks: Casblanca Sound & Picture Co.
Adrienne Mitchell .... special thanks
Jim Paterson .... thanks
Boyd Pelley .... thanks
Howard Porter .... thanks
Donna Radik .... special thanks: Telefilm
Vince Riverso .... thanks
Patricia Rozema .... special thanks
Michelle Satter .... special thanks: Sundance
Regine Schmid .... special thanks: TiMe
Tad Seaborn .... thanks
Susan Shilliday .... special thanks
Susan Shipton .... special thanks
Ed Sinclair .... special thanks
Kathryn Smith .... special thanks: TMN (as Kathryn A. Smith)
Johanna ter Steege .... thanks
Dana Stevens .... special thanks
Colin Strayer .... thanks
Louise Tenenbaum .... special thanks: Telefilm
Wolfram Tichy .... special thanks: TiMe
R.M. Vaughn .... special thanks
Jason Wodlinger .... thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sexuality and language
106 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Robert:[about a new cologne he has just received as a gift] It smells like love.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Past Perfect (2002)See more »
LAZULISee more »


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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Beautiful, thoughtful, touching, unusual., 29 November 1999
Author: William Murphy from Reading, United Kingdom

The opening scene of "The Five senses" makes it clear that this is not a mainstream Hollywood shoot-them-up action flick. The beautiful subdued lighting and lovely slow music prepare you for a film closer in approach, sensibility and human interaction to European fare such as "Tous Les Matins du Monde". The cast is uniformly superb. The only moderately well-known cast member is Mary-Louise Parker who acquits herself splendidly as usual, though you get the feeling that the producers were anxious to have ONE name which was at least vaguely familiar to U.S. audiences.

The only weakness lies in the script. It does not unduly labor the "Five Senses" theme - five characters each have a flaw in one of their five senses. That would have made the film too much of an artificial academic exercise. Yet it slides into the opposite trap of not emphasising the importance of sense to two of the characters. The cakemaker apparently has no sense of taste, though that is barely apparent. Her lousy cakes might be the result of incompetence rather than handicap for all we are shown and her sensory deficiency is not an integral part of the story as it is for the opthalmologist who is going deaf. According to at least one review I read, the masseuse reportedly has a deficient sense of touch, which is not apparent at all. Indeed the scene where she massages the teacher, who is also the mother of the little girl who goes missing, is extraordinarily tender, gentle and sensuous.

The opthalmologist who is slowly losing his hearing provides some of the most poignant scenes. The writer is very aware of the saying that blindness cuts you off from things, deafness cuts you off from people. The character is obviously afraid of his growing disability enhancing his existing painful isolation. He is already separated from his wife and little girl and now faces losing his beloved music. He has to pay for sex. His prostitute takes pity on him, and after their intercourse she accompanies him to a glorious concert (paradoxically of religious music in a church!) and shows him sign language.

The other unforgettable scenes show the anguish of the mother of the missing little girl, and the remorse of the mother of the withdrawn teenager who lost her. It is a superlative performance by Molly Parker and contrasts favourable with the hystrionics shown by Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Deep End of the Ocean", where her character similarly loses her son. Curiously, Pfeiffer's character was portrayed as a practising Catholic, but was not shown as praying or arranging for any religious service to pray for the safe return of her child. Here, Molly Parker's character describes how she prayed for the first time in years. As Winston Churchill said, there are times when all pray, but here it is convincing and extraordinarily touching. Michael Medved in "Hollywood Versus America" notes how mainstream films hardly ever show their characters praying even in the direst circumstances. "The Five Senses" does not miss this obvious dramatic opportunity, nor does it unduly harp on it.

The predominant theme throughout the film is the difficulty of human communication and the essential loneliness of the individual. There is no intact normal family and you get the feeling that this is very much a "gay" perspective on the world and human relationships. This is not only because of the gay house cleaner and the brief male-male kissing scene, but the astonishing absence of any father - child relationship, which is a strong theme in much gay literature. The cakemaker is shown as anxious about her dying mother, but her father is not even mentioned. The missing little girl has a devoted mother, but again her father is not mentioned. The masseuse's husband is dead and she cannot communicate with her intelligent, but traumatised daughter.

To emphasise the loneliness refrain (another strong gay theme), the opthalmologist is separated from his wife and child. The housecleaner is apparently bisexual, but has no current male or female partner. The cakemaker has no current boyfriend, until the newly arrived Italian from her holiday romance appears - and even them his motivation is suspect, leading to a final complete misunderstanding on her part. The root causes behind the various characters' loneliness are never made not clear; this is a weakness in the writing and increases our difficulty in identifying with them, but it does not diminish our sympathy with at least some of their sorrows.

Overall, I give this unusual and beautifully crafted film 8 out of 10.

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