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Paris P. Pickard,
Anthony Michael Jones
Rebecca has a very unusual secret, one that not even her best friends know about. The last person on earth she expects to reveal it to is a high priced escort named Paris. What starts as a comedy of errors ends up a uniquely erotic journey. Rebecca's unconventional efforts to find herself are raw, evocative, and often times humorous, but always very real, very human. Sometimes a perfect ending is not what you expect it to be.Written by
Soul Kiss Films
Generally when I go to see films at a festival my expectations are set pretty low. Most are fair to middlin' and many just don't cut the mustard. Occasionally, however, I catch a film that not only captures my mind while I'm watching it but that lives on and continues to unfold in my mind for days after. Such was my experience with A Perfect Ending. For starters, while I first saw the film during the Frameline (LGBT) festival in San Francisco, it became abundantly clear not long into the film that the fact the love story element was between two women was incidental to the bigger picture themes of identity, self-awareness, and the ever-important journey to discover and embrace true passion in life.
At first blush, A Perfect Ending is the story of Rebecca (Barbara Niven) a woman living in a loveless marriage, dissatisfied with her life and holding a deep secret that not even her closest friends know. She reveals this secret and the deep questions that it carries to her friends who then suggest a rather unorthodox path to finding answers - a high priced call girl named Paris (Jessica Clark).
It's a Nicole Conn film, so you know there's a love story. I saw it at an LGBT festival so I knew there was a lesbian angle. What I found with A Perfect Ending was a story that had so much more depth and breadth that I left the theater thinking ... a lot.
Nicole Conn masterfully weaves this complex story, delicately dipping into an array of subplots and parallel story lines. That she weaves a complex story is one thing, that she does so leveraging some unique and rather fascinating storytelling mechanisms makes the film that much more interesting to me.
Beyond the graceful storytelling structure there are the superb performances from a very talented cast.
Several great character turns give wonderful flavor to the story. Cathy DeBuono delivers an amusingly intense performance; Mary Wells' comedic timing and perfectly timed expressions bring laughter at several key moments and then there's the superb Morgan Fairchild whose very appearance on the screen resulted in applause. John Heard delivers a great performance as the detached, boozy husband with a dark secret of his own.
Finally there are the two magnificent lead actresses. Newcomer Jessica Clark, has thus far in her career mostly been a model. You can be sure that this will change - fast. The character of Paris that she delivers has such nuance, such grace, such power and such intensity it's hard to believe that this stunning young woman had never before done a full-length feature film.
Barbara Niven is someone you have, no doubt, seen act before. You have never seen her like this. To watch the evolution of Niven's character of Rebecca is to see a woman become completely dismantled. From her clothing and hairstyle to the way she walks and even holds her facial expressions - at the outset Rebecca is wound so tightly that one might expect she would snap at any time. Instead, we see her soften, unravel and blossom into a magnificent, luminous and powerful woman.
Any woman should see this film and then ask herself - have you found your passion? Are you living a life you feel worth living and if not, why?
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