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The Five Senses (1999)

Interconnected stories examine situations involving the five senses. Touch is represented by a massage therapist who is treating a woman, while her daughter accidentally loses the woman's ... See full summary »


Jeremy Podeswa


Jeremy Podeswa
4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Molly Parker ... Anna Miller
Gabrielle Rose ... Ruth Seraph
Elize Frances Stolk Elize Frances Stolk ... Amy Lee Miller
Nadia Litz ... Rachel Seraph
Mary-Louise Parker ... Rona
Daniel MacIvor ... Robert
Philippe Volter Philippe Volter ... Dr. Richard Jacob
Clinton Walker Clinton Walker ... Carl
Astrid Van Wieren Astrid Van Wieren ... Richard's Patient
Brendan Fletcher ... Rupert
Paul Bettis Paul Bettis ... Richard's Doctor
James Allodi ... Justin
Gavin Crawford ... Airport Clerk
Sandi Stahlbrand Sandi Stahlbrand ... TV Reporter #1
Amanda Soha Amanda Soha ... Sylvie


Interconnected stories examine situations involving the five senses. Touch is represented by a massage therapist who is treating a woman, while her daughter accidentally loses the woman's pre-school daughter in the park. The older daughter meets a voyeur (vision), a professional house-cleaner has an acute sense of smell, a cake maker has lost her sense of taste, and an older man is losing his hearing. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nothing can cure the soul but the senses. -- Oscar Wilde


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The characters representing the five (5) senses begin with the letter 'R' Ruth : Touch Rupert : Sight Rona : Taste Robert : Smell Richard : Hearing See more »


Robert: You look good.
Rona: Of course I look good; all I do is fuck and eat.
See more »


Featured in Past Perfect (2002) See more »


Written by Alejandra Núñez
Performed by Proyecto Urbano
See more »

User Reviews

A touching exploration of human perceptions and dynamics.
17 August 2000 | by Thom-48See all my reviews

The five senses is a truly lovely film. It takes a look into the lives of several people, most of whom are somehow the embodiment of a sense. Yet the fact that they are so involved in a particular sense prevents them from experiencing life fully.

Sight is embodied in a young woman who bakes designer cakes. The cakes are visually stunning, but she has very little regard to how they taste. Sight is also the sense of a young man who voyeuristically watches men hook up in a park, but doesn't himself experience physical fulfilment.

Hearing is embodied in the bittersweet story of a doctor who is losing his hearing, and is concerned with hearing this favorite sounds one last time. Smell is personified by a young man who is convinced that love has a smell, and seeks out his former lovers in order to sniff them and see if they still love him. Touch is a massage therapist who seems to use her practice to regain the intimacy she once had with her now deceased husband. And finally, taste is embodied by the Italian lover of the cake baker who is constantly cooking, because it is his only real way of communicating with her.

These people's lives occasionally intersect because they all live work, or otherwise have ties to the same building. Their stories are woven around a larger story of a missing little girl. We get to know these people through short chronological glimpses into their lives that string together into a non-linear narrative. The device is similar to that used by Atom Egoyan, but the element of time is not distorted. In the end, not all of the stories are resolved, which is actually good because it keeps us thinking and allows us to revisit the characters and imagine a number of plausible endings.

The film has a beautifully austere formality about it. It meanders through its stories at a very thoughtful pace, and looks at them from a bit of a distance. We see very profound emotions before us, but experience them intellectually.

I can see that this film is not for everyone, but is great for those interested in a well crafted, thought-provoking experience.

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French | English | Italian

Release Date:

3 December 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinco sentidos See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,653, 16 July 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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