Two Weekend Picks at SIFF

My Year Without SexIt's difficult to tackle the topic of brain trauma with a pinch of genuine levity, and even more challenging to do so without overdramatizing the proceedings. Australian writer-director Sarah Watt, who received numerous plaudits for 2005's Look Both Ways, manages to do both in My Year Without Sex. In brief: Natalie narrowly survives an aneurysm; the doctor tells her an orgasm could be fatal, so for the next 13 months she tries to keep her husband and Melbourne family together. Without sex. The film, divided into 13 chapters, shows us how they cope. There's not a single self-indulgent or forced moment such as you might expect of this medical-familial crisis (see Grey's Anatomy and its big-screen American cousins). In fact, there's not a particularly memorable line until the very end. Rather, you feel as though you're watching a real middle-class family who already have enough challenges even without the phenomenally crummy hand they've been dealt. Watching them cope is a subtly life-affirming experience that doesn't require a box of Kleenex. (Egyptian: 9:30 p.m. Sat., May 29 and 1:30 p.m. Mon., May 31.)SkeletonsImpossible to shoehorn into a single genre (or even a blend of three or four), Nick Whitfield's Skeletons is very weird and very good. The its two protagonists are psychic investigators is perhaps the comedy's most plausible aspect. Davis and Bennett roam the English countryside—always on foot—mostly helping couples be more honest with themselves by literally entering their closets and unearthing their deepest, darkest secrets. Between gigs, Davis takes to journeying into his own past to figure out some personal matters—a practice forbidden by the pair's employer, the Colonel. In order to gain an important promotion, they take on a client with issues outside her cerebellum: she can't find her husband, who's either dead or has abandoned his family. Inside the dizzying psychic realm this search requires, Davis and Bennett manage to find genuine human connection and companionship on Earth—among themselves. (Neptune, 4:30 p.m. Fri., May 28.)

 
comments powered by Disqus