That first "F" in SIFF stands for film, not food, but there's plenty of onscreen eating at the festival to entertain the culinary-minded moviegoer. As a supplement to Seattle Weekly's coverage of the Seattle International Film Festival, Voracious will highlight the program's films of particular interest to those viewers who spend more time in dining rooms than screening rooms.
Food-focused Ewan McGregor fans who were already besotted with the Seattle International Film Festival's honoree will surely thrill to his showing up as a chef in Perfect Sense, the Scottish actor's latest collaboration with director David Mackenzie. But, as McGregor's character discovers, it's not easy cheffing when the world's been seized by sensory dysfunction.
Perfect Sense, a romance-slash-global mystery, explores what happens when people lose their abilities to hear, smell, and taste. The film proposes they'll stick their noses in manure, nosh on soap, and--to McGregor's character's horror--stop going to restaurants. Spoiler alert: Folks eventually return to their old eating-out ways, because--as the love interest explains--people need to be waited on and criticize what they're eating. "In one funny scene," Seattle Weekly's Brian Miller writes, "the chef's restaurant receives a rave review for the crackly sonic textures of its food."
Critics who saw the film's premiere at Sundance were divided on whether it was thoughtful or trite, but mustered generally positive reviews. "It's sappy, sure, but in keeping with the whole rest of the film. McGregor and [co-star Eva] Green and Mackenzie and [writer Kim] Aakeson convinced me," Dan Mecca writes. "Can they convince you?"