6.9/10
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48 user 75 critic

Yes (2004)

R | | Drama, Romance | 5 August 2005 (UK)
In this film, told almost entirely in iambic pentameter, She is a scientist in a loveless marriage to Anthony, a devious politician. He is a Lebanese doctor in self-imposed exile, working ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cleaner
...
She
...
Anthony
...
He
...
Virgil
...
Billy
Raymond Waring ...
Whizzer
...
Grace
Barbara Oxley ...
Cleaner in Swimming Pool
...
Kate
Kev Orkian ...
Waiter
George Antoni ...
Kitchen Boss (as George Yiasoumi)
Beryl Scott ...
Cleaner in Laboratory
...
Aunt
Lol Coxhill ...
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Storyline

In this film, told almost entirely in iambic pentameter, She is a scientist in a loveless marriage to Anthony, a devious politician. He is a Lebanese doctor in self-imposed exile, working as a chef in a London restaurant. They meet at a banquet and fall into a carefree, passionate relationship. But the contempt He perceives as a Muslim immigrant to the UK causes him to break up with She, offering little in the way of explanation, and return to his homeland. She drags his reasons out of him little by little and tries to sympathize. Keenly feeling the loss of his love, She flies to Havana to sort things out on the beach and in the cabarets. She sends him a ticket, but harbors no illusions that He will join her in this Carribean melting pot... Written by Joe Jurca

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 August 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Да  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,451 (USA) (24 June 2005)

Gross:

$396,035 (USA) (23 September 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director 'Sally Potter' told Joan Allen to think of the dialog, which is in verse, more in the line of Eminem than William Shakespeare. She even took the actress to Def Poetry Jam, a night of spoken word that ran on Broadway courtesy of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons to experience it. See more »

Goofs

As "He" is chopping celery and talking to his crew, the knife in his hands changes from shot to shot. One shot has pieces of celery stuck to the knife while the other shows a clean blade. See more »

Quotes

Aunt: If and when I die, I want to see you cry. I want to see you tear your hair, your howls of anguish fill the air. I want to see you beat your breast and rent your clothes and all the rest. And, sobbing, fall upon my bed I want to know that I am dead.
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Soundtracks

Waltz No. 7 in C sharp minor
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Dimitri Alexeev
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User Reviews

Yes! Yes! Yes!
12 September 2004 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

Sally Potter's Yes premiered this evening at the Toronto International Film Festival before a 1300-strong crowd, with the director and star Joan Allen in attendance. I am so grateful to have been present at this extraordinary event (the film is still in negotiations for distribution). Yes is a love story between She (Joan Allen, stunning in the role of a lifetime) and He (Simon Akbarian). She is married (to Sam Neill, who manages to play both boorish and sympathetic), a scientist, and Irish-American, living in London - a city Potter loves to photograph and whose different, colliding cultures she conveys superbly. He is Lebanese, working as a chef in London. She meets He. Love ensues.

It sounds so simple, and in a sense it is. The film is luminous, elegant, ravishingly beautiful, subtly erotic. The love scenes feel so natural. And yet -- all the dialogue is spoken in rhymed iambic pentameter. Scenes are shot from canted angles, through glass or water, sometimes from CCTV cameras. Jump-cuts, motion blur, internal monologue, an unsettling score - all these elements challenge the simplicity of the idea of love. He and She are unnamed, but they have backgrounds, political and religious beliefs that take the narrative so far beyond the usual romantic pap of Hollywood cinema. Every frame and every gesture invites multiple viewings and multiple readings, partly for the precision and lush beauty (each city has its own colour scheme), and because so many other films and paintings are evoked (including an audacious nod to Orlando early on!) And because this is a Sally Potter film, the passion and the politics have a strain of humour. Or in this case, a frame, provided by Shirley Henderson as She's cleaning woman. Her opening and closing monologues in the whiteness of She's London house are immediately engaged, and totally unlike anything else you'll see or hear in film (at least English-language film). In fact, that's a good summary: Yes is totally unlike anything you've seen before.


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