Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Drama The Five Senses (1999)

The Five Senses (1999)

The interconnected stories of The Five Senses do more than just link events together. Featuring an exceptional, distinctive cast that includes Mary-Louise Parker, Pascale Bussieres and Molly Parker, the film’s soulful narrative enhances each character’s development; the weaved narratives demonstrate how one of the human senses dramatically affects their evolution as people. Writer/director Jeremy Podeswa connects five characters that share an apartment building in Canada through subdued, sympathetic storylines. A mother whose daughter goes missing after her babysitter becomes distracted and stops watching her in the park, an eye doctor who is going deaf, a woman who makes party cakes that are beautiful yet not so delicious – these contexts engage the viewer to reflect on how the simplicity of human senses actually can contribute to the complexity of our lives.

Equally notable is the film’s score –the haunting chant O Magnum Mysterium is played throughout, setting a tone of seriousness but not tragedy. Even the deliberate use of silence is notable. Podeswa’s cinematography comes through as basic, yet purposefully so. It is the film’s direction that almost renders the movie an art form in it’s own right.

Winner of “Best Canadian Feature Film” at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival, The Five Senses combines metaphors that aren’t trite, through the use of everyday characters. Undoubtedly, it’s a contemplative film with a slower-pace. The movie never promises that all will be well, or that each character “wins”; it simply achieves its aim.

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