Selectively speaking, Ashley Horner‘s brilliantlove is an exceptionally hot and skillful depiction of sexual delirium. A tale about a lickin’ love affair between a couple of none-too-brights that succumbs to melodramatic poisoning by way of (horrors!) money and ambition, this British-produced Tribeca Film Festival entry, which I caught the night before last, is at the very least a stylistic stand-out. And yet I’m not sure where it stands (or writhes) in the annals of erotic cinema.
I know it feels a bit more feverish and free-fall than vaguely middlebrow sex films like Sex and Lucia and Warm Summer Rain and the like, but isn’t quite as kinky as Last Tango in Paris or graphic as The Brown Bunny or as given to obsessive perversity as In The Realm of The Senses, and yet it’s definitely a cut above. It’s certainly above the realm of Michael Winterbottom‘s 9 Songs, which I found tedious.
I said “selectively” because the story isn’t all that great. It would’ve been fine for me if brilliantlove had just been about the simple matter of Manchester (Liam Browne), a novice photographer, doing Noon (Nancy Trotter Landry), a taxidermist, over under sideways down. I certainly would have preferred a less dramatically loaded story. One about healing the broken wing of a small bird, let’s say, and the commitment that such an effort may require of two kids with very little money. Something along those lines.
That sounds like I’m describing straight hard-R porn, I realize, but Horner is very good at capturing that erotic dreamwhirl feeling that takes over when you’ve really lost yourself in someone else and you’ve long ago stopped noticing their less than radiantly attractive aspects because you’re just breathless and sliding around and shrieking and crying and finding God, or being kissed by Him/Her.
This movie really gets and recreates that, and it’s all the more remarkable due to the fact that Browne and Landry, while pleasantly or nominally attractive, aren’t model- or movie star-fetching. I for one have a major blockage about women with big feet, but Horner’s special touch somehow persuaded me to put this phobia aside.