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Irina Palm (2008)

Jenny Agutter , Marianne Faithfull , Sam Garbarski  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jenny Agutter, Marianne Faithfull, Miki Manojlovic, Meg Wynn Owen, Kevin Bishop
  • Directors: Sam Garbarski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017YWUS8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,554 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Irina Palm" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Marianne Faithfull stars as Maggie, a middle-aged widow who, desperate to raise money to pay for her grandson`s medical bills, takes a hostess job in a sex club. She soon transforms herself into the much sought after and highly paid Irina Palm, the best right hand in London. Along with her new persona, Maggie gains renewed self-confidence, realizing she is not as old and unattractive as she thought. But her two worlds collide as her clandestine existence provokes the suspicions of her family and inquisitive neighbors alike.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Practicalities of Desperation August 26, 2008
IRINA PALM may be a film too many people will overlook, thinking it either empty headed or pornographic. But word of mouth should correct those misconceptions, as this little quiet film is a tender story of an aging woman's sacrifices and healthy outlook in the face of adversity. IRINA PALM is that happy marriage of comedy and drama, a heartwarming tale that leaves the viewer with both a smile and a tear.

Written by Director Sam Garbarski with Martin Herron and Phillipe Blasband, IRINA PALM is the story of a widowed grandmother Maggie (Marianne Faithfull in a luminous performance) whose young grandson Ollie (Corey Burke) is gravely ill. Maggie's son Tom (Kevin Bishop) and daughter-in-law Sarah (Siobhan Hewlett) cannot afford the transfer from England to Australia where the young lad could undergo curative treatment. Maggie decides she must find a job - a daunting task for an older woman with no particular job training - to make the treatment affordable. After numerous rejections from employment agencies, she spies a Sex Shop advertising for 'hostesses'. Thinking that designation means serving tea, etc, she enters the shady establishment and is interviewed by the owner Miki (Miki Manojlovic), a gentle man who gently describes the type of employment: Maggie would sit in a room and provide simple masturbation through a glory hole for anonymous clients. At first shocked by the job description, she in desperation investigates the business with the help of her soon to be best friend Luisa (Dorka Gryllus), and accepts the job with reservations. To her surprise (and the surprise of Miki and Luisa) Maggie gains a loyal following of customers, so much so that she is given the name 'Irina Palm'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars touchy subject handled with delicacy and taste July 28, 2010
Desperate to earn money so her critically ill grandson can have a much-needed operation, a modest and reserved middle-aged widow finds a job "pleasuring" men through a hole in the wall of a sleazy London strip joint. Before you know it, Maggie is doing quite the little business (years of not doing manual labor have apparently paid off), with a steady stream of satisfied customers queuing up outside her cubicle, and a boss more than satisfied with the money she`s bringing in. She's even adopted a stage name, Irina Palm, renowned for having the "smoothest" hand in the business. But hiding the truth from her son and daughter-in-law and her snooty, gossipy friends becomes a daily challenge for Maggie as she debases herself for a noble cause.

Despite its rather - um, shall we say "touchy" subject matter - "Irina Palm" is a warm human drama about a woman willing to go to any lengths to help a person she loves. But that's only the glass-half-empty aspect of the story for, in a bizarre sort of way, this turns out to be one of the best things that's ever happened to Maggie. Indeed, her willingness to meet life on its own terms - then, eventually, her own - opens up whole new possibilities for Maggie as an individual, possibilities that have hitherto remained unrealized due to the various social roles and conduct restrictions that have been imposed upon her throughout the course of her life. Her new job gives her a type of freedom she's never had before, simply because it is she and she alone who is now determining what course that life will take.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Two Palms Up" for Irena Palm June 14, 2010
Long ago I used to listen to the music of Marianne Faithfull so when I accidentally began watching this movie I continued watching not out of nostalgia but because of the enchanting, gentle nature of this middle-class widowed grandmother and her desperate approach to lessening her family's financial burden. My attention was not due solely to the subject matters obvious humor (including the interesting clash of stereo-types) but because of Irena's quietly persistent and dignified manner in seeing her idea through until her financial goal was achieved at which time her grandson then had a real shot at being cured of cancer. Faithfull truly acted the part and the story lines never let her down nor diminished her in stature despite the obvious attempt of others to do so once the true nature of her work was revealed. A touching but very funny story (although admitably not meant for the prudish or those who easily censure others without understanding).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Story Told by Hand March 9, 2009
By Hikari
3.5 stars. There have been many British films dealing with the gritty underbelly of the sex trade; despite a plot that would seem to mark this as one of those, this movie is much closer in in spirit to "Shirley Valentine" in its central theme of a woman of a certain age declaring emancipation from her boring and limited provincial existence and finding a late-in-life love in the most unlikely place. Widowed Maggie, desperate to raise cash for medical treatment for her critically ill grandson winds up applying for a 'hostess' position in a SoHo sex club giving hand jobs. Not because she wants this kind of work, but because with no education or job skills, it's all she can get. The owner of the club agrees to give her a trial, and to his surprise, not to mention Maggie's own, she turns out to be a natural at this work, despite her prim demeanor. In short order, Maggie is leading a duel existence: queen of the SoHo sex district by day (and night) as well as unassuming provincial grandmother, taking the train to London every afternoon from her village while trying to avoid detection by her nosy neighbors and her son and daughter-in-law. Maggie's boss renames her 'Irina Palm' and makes her (or rather, her right hand) the centerpiece of his club. At first intending to exploit this sheltered housewife, he winds up discovering tender feelings for his new employee. Those familiar with Marianne Faithfull's storied past as 60's rock icon, girlfriend of Mick Jagger and infamous heroin addict will marvel that she can portray a timid woman of limited life experience just discovering her own identity, but she brings depth and pathos to Maggie's situation, as well as a dry humor. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brits at their best
Bitter sweet and funny.
Published 1 month ago by Janeen Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Do What You Must
Amazingly unique storyline used to expose the age-old thought that desperation can lead a person to do surprising things. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sasha
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw sex beautifully portrayed in a manner almost never seen on film.
a delightful thought provoking film. Naughty in parts but it could have been really gross and it was not. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Brooklyn Barbra
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
It is a very uplifting movie. It had a solid plot and really made you think about life and love. I wanted to watch it more than once which is unusual for me.
Published 12 months ago by Elizabeth Hoebel, MD
5.0 out of 5 stars Irina Palm
Loved the movie and the camera work. Different topic made it very interesting to watch - I plan to purchase it!!
Published 15 months ago by Deborah Kuhns
5.0 out of 5 stars you need kleenex to watch this movie.....
great movie original scenario not too many people speaks or makes movies about penis elbow!they could call this movie grease too but the title was taken already!
Published 18 months ago by Jean Touillon
5.0 out of 5 stars dirty business
Irina Palm is a film about a grandmother who loves her dying grandson more than anything in the world, but... Read more
Published 23 months ago by B. E Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie
I watched this film over and over again it was funny and very touching at the same time,I would recommend it if you want a good laugh too.
Published on March 13, 2011 by Shopper playgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars LULU
This was a wonderful suprise. Someone at my office had told me about this movie and I was curious about watching it. After viewing it, I was glad I made the purchase... Read more
Published on February 19, 2011 by LuLu
2.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant movie watching experience
This is an odd movie by Sam Garbarsky, a Belgian former advertising person who now makes feature films. Read more
Published on February 5, 2011 by Doctor.Generosity
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