Perfect Sense

Susan is a scientist who knows she shouldn’t smoke but does. Michael is a chef who cleans the fish smell from his hands with lemon and isn’t afraid to bum a smoke once in a while. The two meet, and begin to fall in love as if they’re two characters in a movie compelled to do so (which, come to think of it, they are). The catch: a new epidemic is sweeping through hospitals. After a sudden temper tantrum, often prompted by a wall of grief and loss, the victim loses one of their senses. The first wave loses their sense of smell.

So this is the world in which Susan (Eva Green) and Michael (Ewan McGregor) are struggling to find love. With every new sense lost, countries are increasingly chaotic and governments are just barely holding on. People aren’t really eating in restaurants anymore, so Michael’s work dries up (how do you cook without smell? how do you enjoy eating?) just as Susan’s is put to the test: she’s at the forefront of research into this epidemic, and her voice-overs provide some insight. Don’t worry, though, you don’t need smell to repent. It’s never too late for that.

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You can tell from the turtlenecks this is NOT The Perfect Fashion Sense.

Anyway, an epidemic is not an obvious setting for a love story, and I’ve possibly never been so fully turned off than watching an orgy of gluttony that was remarkably non-discerning. Perfect Sense is no Love in the Time of Cholera. It doesn’t succeed in being any big character study, or any great romance, but it doesn’t quite reach for the bigger picture either, though the pieces are all there. On balance I’d say this is still worth a watch – there are a couple of astonishing scenes, and for me at least it forced a few of those powerful What If questions without which life would be less sweet.

 

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17 thoughts on “Perfect Sense

  1. raistlin0903

    I have to admit that I like the plot of this film. Epidemics are nothing new of course, but the way you describe this one is something that I haven’t seen/heard of before. Thanks for the review, I will probably check this one out at some point 😊

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  2. Micki Allen

    “I’d say this is still worth a watch – there are a couple of astonishing scenes, and for me at least it forced a few of those powerful What If questions without which life would be less sweet.” Agreed. Dare I admit that I’ve watched this movie three times, hoping to enjoy it more each time; alas, to no avail? That said, I’ll likely watch it again eventually for the simple fact that I’d watch these two (Green and McGregor) reading grocery lists on Youtube.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Haha, yes, sometimes we can’t explain what draws us to a so-so movie, and sometimes we can! But even imperfect movies can have redeeming bits. Glad you found some too!

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  3. The Inner Circle

    I have this in my IFC Films collection and while I liked it fine,it just left me wondering how Eva Green is considered a leading actress in the classical sense. She is striking but when your male co-star is prettier then the leading lady……
    I thought “Perfect Sense” was rather well done based on its budget and is a perfect commentary on today’s world.

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. mydangblog

    Interesting premise. I’ve lost my sense of taste a couple of times during a really bad cold–one of the worst things in the world. I don’t know how people who suffer from it constantly stand it. There are a lot of ‘plague’ movies out there though–I’m still waiting for someone to make a film version of Station Eleven.

    Liked by 2 people

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