M is the most esteemed professional of the many girls at Scarlet's but, even on her birthday, it's business as usual. M's trade is sex, but sex doesn't sell the way it used to; what clients are searching for, paying for, is love.
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Maris J. Caune
This edgy Australian film stars an ensemble cast headed up by pop superstar Kylie Minogue, David Field, and John Lyndon. Various characters interact under strange circumstances, calling to mind movies such as GO and PULP FICTION
M is the highest paid professional of the many girls at Scarlet's, but, even on her 25th birthday, it's business as usual. M's trade is sex, but sex doesn't sell the way it used to; what client's are searching for, paying for... is love. Instead of celebrating, her day is spent answering the silent prayers of Father Phillip, who has lost his faith and providing counsel to her colleagues, the vivacious Lily and troubled Cindy. Amidst the many dramas that unfold and the demands of the 'no-nonsense' Scarlet, M's secret birthday wish goes unanswered. That is, until Joey knocks on her door; a young man, forgotten by the world, who has never learned to love, or even how to kiss. But Joey also has a secret, it's his Birthday too, and today M may just discover that even the smallest, most unexpected wish can come true. Birthday encompasses lost love, first times, humanity and the discovery of intimacy in surprising and unexpected places. Written by
Travis McMahon, who plays Father Phillip, was in attendance when the theatrical play Birthday opened in Melbourne at Chapel Off Chapel. He said to Director James Harkness "Mate, I reckon this would make a great film." See more »
I first saw BIRTHDAY at the Anchorage Film Fest played before a packed house in the dead of winter. It still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. This is not due to the Alaska cold, but rather the amazing power it held over everybody. I was so moved I caught a second screening of it two days later and only found more to love. I do advise one bring tissues, however. This is one of the few films that everybody stays for the end credits-- praying the lights don't come up before they've wiped away the telltale tears. There was not a dry eye in the house but trust me it's the best possible kind of tears. The kind that remind you that you're human and glad of it.
I was shocked to see a less than positive review (among the other glowing ones) that made me realize something I think is worth sharing. This movie, though quite distinct, reminded me of Sofia Coppola's LOST IN TRANSLATION one of my favorite films and another film that seems to meet with similarly divided reactions. I've met those who just "don't get it" their words not mind. Some folks feel nothing happens in that movie. Those of us who relate to it see that EVERYTHING happens in that movie. So, if big moments expressed in small, intimate ways are not your cup of tea, you might not appreciate this film. But if you like films like LOST IN TRANSLATION, AN EDUCATION, BETTY BLUE you're likely to love this one. I can't wait until it comes to the U.S. did you hear that IFC? Weinsteins? Hurry up and get on the ball please!
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