Susan Streitfeld's feature film debut, Female Perversions, is based on, and inspired by, the best seller Female Perversions: The Temptations of Emma Bovary. Louise J Kaplan's Freudian text, which is really based on a series of individual psychological cases, has been compiled into a both provocative and beautiful portrait of a woman. What is the worst thing a woman of today can face? Is it not to see herself in the mirror and realize that she is not the most beautiful and gifted, and that even her lipstick is not the latest trendy shade. Or is it to realize that she has made the wrong choices in life? Tilda Swinton, as the apparently tough district public prosecutor Eve, seems to have a life and above all a career which is running smoothly. A prestigious job as a judge is soon to be hers. The prospect of a job interview with the governor triggers, however, an identity crisis within Eve. Under her self-assured exterior of exclusive underwear and tailored suits, there is a neurotic woman who doubts everything in her life at the moment. The beautiful facade begins to crack more often. She is forced by her sub-conscious to search for her real identity, not least sexually. When she realizes that her relationship with her lover, John, is no longer satisfying, she throws herself into a lesbian relationship with a psychiatrist. Life is further complicated when she has to rescue her sister, a kleptomaniac, from prison. Once there, Eve not only has a scene with her sister, where underlying rivalry is brought to light, but also experiences a journey back to childhood where she is reminded of suppressed memories. Female Perversions is a contemplation of, and a questioning of, the role of women in society. About the difficulties of living up to your own and other people's expectations. It is all elegantly presented in true intellectual American independent spirit and with a sure sense of style. But this is Tilda Swinton's film. Through her complex and dominant acting she succeeds in linking together the film's mixture of fantasy, dream and reality in a masterly way. A lot of female but not very much perversions. LL

Female Perversions
Susan Streitfeld
110 min
American Independents
Skandinavisk premiär
Tilda Swinton, Amy Madigan, Karen Sillas
Mindy Affrine
Susan Streitfeld & Julie Hebert, based on the book “Female Perversions: The Temptation of Emma Bovar
Debbie Wiseman

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