on December 7, 2012
Let me begin by saying, the chemistry between Rebecca, brilliantly portrayed by Barbara Niven, and Paris, played by the amazing Jessica Clark, left me speechless. I can't find the words to convey how powerful their on screen chemistry is. You must experience it yourself.
For me, this movie is the first film I can recall watching about a subject many women deal with every single day, including myself. The challenge of aging and feeling good about ourselves is ongoing for many of us. As we mature and grow older, we sometimes settle for life being what it is each day, not even recognizing we are missing passion in our lives. This is a compelling and powerful story about Rebecca, a mother and wife, looking for passion and Paris, a high priced call girl and artist, who is trying to overcome her own personal struggles. This multilayered film is brilliantly written and the story presented in a way which is moving and thought provoking. Quite frankly, it changed my life. And while I recognize this may not be the case for all who see it, for me personally, it opened my eyes and helped me realize that I am who I am, and I am perfectly me. Seeing a bit of myself in Rebecca and witnessing the power and strength she embraced to overcome her doubts and fears in `A Perfect Ending' allowed me to choose a new beginning. This film will make you think about where you at in your life and question, is this where I want to be and am I living my life with passion each day.
on March 20, 2013
Firstly, this is, in the strictest definition, an art film. If you want action, a bunch of T&A, just another chick flick, or a simple linear love story, then this probably is not a film for you.
Secondly, "A Perfect Ending" provides an entire range of potent emotion, from the poignant to the erotic. If you're ready to be transported emotionally, this IS a film you can't afford to miss. Guys will probably not get this, though.
Thirdly, it is not, IMHO, just another "lesbian film." To label it as such and nothing more is to do an injustice not only to writer/director Nicole Conn and the stellar cast and all those involved in the project, but to all those women "out there" who NEED to see the film, because it is, in so many ways, EVERY woman's story on some level.
If you are stuck in a situation, a relationship, a job, a state of mind--any of these things or countless others that tie you up and confine you--then you, too, are on a similar journey as Rebecca must travel. If you are facing your own mortality and have any regrets, this is your story, too. If you feel powerless, then come watch how Rebecca finds her own power. If your whole life you never felt thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, good enough, then you will identify with Rebecca (and surprisingly, the beautiful Barbara Niven who plays her). If you've been wounded, are feeling vulnerable, come see how Paris and Rebecca heal one another's wounds.
AND If you have never had an orgasm, you'll know exactly how Rebecca feels, and you will soar with her when she finally achieves release in the single most erotic love scene I have ever experienced. Nicole Conn holds nothing back, and yet it is not even close to pornographic because it's not about the actual sex (although that is incredibly-well-depicted and tastefully handled!), but rather, it is about how we as women respond to making love--on a profound emotional level. Rebecca's reaction, as portrayed by the incomparable Barbara Niven, will absolutely take your breath away. This is not of the "When Harry Met Sally" lusty "Yes. Yes. Yes." ilk. YOU MUST SEE IT to absorb the impact. You will be aroused and satisfied with this utterly mesmerizing sequence.
Finally, there are multiple themes running through the storyline. It is a complex tale with interleaving elements (over-simplified definition borrowed from computer science = alternating layers/non-contiguous) that Nicole Conn has brought together. She connected the dots beautifully. Think impressionist paintings, dots of color seemingly disconnected. Up close they don't make much sense. But step back and the spaces between the dots disappear and the image emerges before your eyes, as if by magic. Paris even explains her pointillist (post-Impressionist) artwork to Rebecca. A point here, a point there and there and way off to the side, a bigger point, then a darker point--these all have very little meaning in themselves, but when seen in relation to the whole, clarity comes.
This is a profound truth. All the seemingly disparate pieces of our lives actually do make sense with the perspective of distance. And time. But as the white box that Nicole Conn uses with such effectiveness showed, enough distance and we ourselves become a dot in a greater picture.
It's also a story about taking risks, emotionally, physically. And for me, the over-riding theme is that of metamorphosis. Paris begins the film as a high-class call girl. Rebecca gives her the courage to live her passion. Depending on your age you will likely identify with one character more than the other. Former model and up-and-coming actress Jessica Clark is the Yin to her co-star's Yang. If you are of a certain age, you will be entranced by Barbara Niven's artistry as she makes this metamorphosis happen for the character she brings to life. You will love and identify with Rebecca. But you will probably fall in love with Barbara Niven, if you haven't already. You've been warned. :)
So watch this art film for its imagery viewed in flashes. There IS meaning in them and you will understand it after absorbing the whole of the story. From the patina on the bronze statues at the opening, foreshadowing the ending, to the bright flashes of color and texture as Rebecca is about to emerge from her cocoon, all these "dots," these pieces, combine with the "stuff" happening with Rebecca's family. And when the film is over and the credits roll, the images will start to make sense (once you start breathing again). And you'll want to watch it again and again until you've connected all the dots yourself.
The ending is poignant, uplifting, satisfying and perfect. You'll have to see it to understand. It is unequivocally NOT, as some reviewers have said, depressing. It is filled with hope, with possibility and redemption. It's only depressing when viewed through a shallow, simplistic, monochromatic lens.
I wept off and on for the rest of the day after watching it through once, re-watching it, then fast-forwarding to the main love scene and the subsequent, although no less revealing, intimate scenes.
A Perfect Ending was a genuine privilege to experience, and I am forever changed by it.
Run, don't walk, to see it, own it, devour it.
For the answer to what the heck Morgan Fairchild's character is doing with all the Barbie Dolls, take note of how the doll she's working on is attired when Paris wants to quit. Nicole Conn knows how to use detail to perfection.
on December 18, 2012
After a year of waiting to see this film.... I'VE FINALLY SEEN IT!!! OMG!!! I now have a new favourite lesbian film!!! I absolutely loved it, everything about it. Barbara Niven especially was UNBELIVABLE, and she's absolutely gorgeous! I think i'm in love ;) Jessica Clark too was fantastic. They had such great chemistry. Brilliant script, and the supporting cast were the best i've seen in any lez film in years. Congratulations to Nicole Conn and Marina Rice Bader on all their hard work - it was all worth it because this is a masterpiece! 10/10
on February 15, 2013
Through a series of detail shots we meet the protagonists in their routine life. A very elegant mature woman eats in a restaurant. A stunningly beautiful young woman walks across a fancy hotel. The mature woman emotionally upset eats alone. The young woman plays a male's fantasy and gets paid. Across with other detail shots that will give us the course of the story, the title is revealed in a work of art.
It's 5 minutes of film and we all think we know what the movie is about. These two women will definitely get together and have "A Perfect Ending", but how will that happen? As the plot unfolds we discover that there were some unexpected twists to be revealed while we find out how this encounter is going to change their lives.
I could go on and on telling with details how the plot unfolds, but I won't be a spoilsport. Especially because the movie is a pleasure for the senses. You cannot just hear about it, you must see it, feel it, smell it, taste it, dive deep into it. I did and I fell completely in love with it. So I'll give you 9 out of 10 reasons to also go on this journey.
Reason #1/10: Paris
Paris has this kind of goddess quality. Not only is she a passionate person, but passion itself. As she presents herself in such a charming and seductive way, we know for sure that absolutely no one would resist. Not even the uptight housewife. She is so perfect, that we keep thinking "can this woman be for real?" Absolutely not. As irresistible as this Aphrodite may be, she truly captivates Rebecca's heart (and ours) when she slowly removes her self-defenses and surrenders to Rebecca's love. We get to know her true self through the white-room sequences and the flashbacks, as if we were her confidents. So we all anxiously expect the transformation and look forward to see the escort Paris becomes the loveable Paris. Jessica Clark couldn't be more perfect for the part. Look for her magazine photographs and you'll see the goddess. Look for her interviews and making off videos and you'll see the lovely down to earth girl.
Reason #2/10: Rebecca
Rebecca, on the other hand, immediately gains our affection. She is that vulnerable, sweet, friendly, respectful person that everyone would move mountains just to see her happy. Any rude behavior from her is forgiven and only makes us more empathic to her feelings and fears. We go through her struggle to overcome her self-image and accept this unorthodox solution. By the time she surrenders, we all can feel the butterflies in her stomach. The transformation that she goes through is so brilliant performed by Barbara Niven. It's hard to put a character to change so much without becoming implausible. But we do believe that she has fallen in love and that everything else in her life has become secondary.
Reason #3/10: Making love scenes
The sex scenes in this movie are so incredibly beautiful, romantic, real and also sexy, passionate and hot. From the first to the last, we see the characters change themselves so clearly by the way they connect as if each movement had been designed to mean much more than the search for pleasure. We can see the tenderness, sweetness and generosity of Paris as the goddess mask reveals her own vulnerability. In every gesture of Rebecca we can see her transformation as she opens herself up, exposing every fear, flaws and feelings. We see she moving herself from the passive position of a "paying customer who wants to get what she wants" to the passionate, very much in love woman who is not afraid to express everything she is feeling.
Reason #4/10: intimacy shared
Apart from the sex scenes, there are a few scenes so beautifully shot, that we feel ourselves as intruders accompanying from a privileged spot the relationship development between the two. A word, a look, a small gesture and we can see that they are so head over heels in love, that's impossible to deny. The intimate conversation scenes between the two are delightful and shows an even harder kind of intimacy. And they do it gracefully as soul mates united by screen.
Reason #5/10: Barbara Niven
If you just take a look in some previous work by Barbara Niven or even just a few interviews or her tweets and Facebook comments, you will be already pretty much interested in getting to know her better. She is the kind of person who makes you fall in love with at first sight. Very talented, friendly, beautiful and honest, she has exposed herself in a wonderfully brave way. She has literally denuded her body and soul to play this part. And we found ourselves very privileged to be sharing this moment with her.
Reason #6/10: Jessica Clark
She is a beautiful, tall, sexy, perfect, charming brunet with a seductive voice who could break your heart. Instead, she smiles at you with tender eyes and tells you that she will do whatever you want or need and you just melt away. It's hard to believe that Nicole hadn't met Jessica before writing this part. Could this perfection be easily imagined? She has the perfect body, the perfect skin, the perfect mouth, the perfect eyes. She is the perfect person to teach you about perfection. She plays three different parts with majesty. A scared young woman hidden in the skin of a high priced escort afraid to let herself love again. A deeply hurt woman in sorrow trying to deal with her own inside demons. A playful girl in love enjoying every second of her recent marriage. And they all live somehow in the unfolded Paris, that gently gives herself in.
Reason #7/10: The plot
Formed by many layers and connected subplots, the plot is very well constructed based in each character's fears and desires. Each encounter will define who the characters are and who they will become. And that's what conducts the story. The journey of transformation taken by Rebecca will affect everyone who is around her as well. Her lover Paris, her friends, her daughter, her boys and husband, all will be transformed somehow. And if we allow ourselves, we'll be too.
Reason #8/10: The supporting roles
Rebecca's friends and family, as well as Paris boss and work colleagues make the entertaining breath of the movie. The lesbian couple Shirin and Kelly give us some hilarious moments, like the one in the bar (great special appearance of Cathy DeBuono). Valentina's obsession with the Barbie dolls is another high point on the script. I also enjoyed very much the interaction between Rebecca's family. John Heard is a very talented actor and is great playing her husband. Her daughter and sons act as if they are so close and intimate as brothers and sisters would be.
Reason #9/10: The Soulkiss Nicole Conn and Marina Rice Bader
This real life couple has also given us the delightful Elena Undone some years ago and we couldn't expect less. The Soulkiss films literally put their soul in the pictures and it connects directly with our own souls. I may keep here finding "reasons" to convince you to watch this movie, when it's clear that it is not a rational choice. Nicole Conn makes movies to be felt not rationalized. Give the movie a chance and your body will feel the emotions, feelings and sensations that only your mind may unsuccessfully try to dodge.
Reason #1/10: Lesbian movie
I believe that every single movie ever made deals with humans' passions, emotions, feelings, desires, qualities and flaws. And every single person in the world can connect with that. How the person will react to the connection differs according to the point of self-awareness that he/she may be. Some mirrors are avoided. Some reflections are not welcomed. So, I think that when an artist (as I consider a filmmaker) express whatever he/she wants, he/she wants to connect, to communicate with as many people as they can. The restriction of a genre, a label, has to do with the commercial part of the deal. The distributor transforms the film into a product and the viewer into a customer. They want to make the customer happy so they can come back for more. So, they must give them exactly what they want. By "lesbian movie" they satisfy the lesbian public. That's safe. I'm not a lesbian, but I have no problem saying that I love most of the lesbian movies that I've seen. But what about my friends? How many of them would watch an "indie movie"? All the ones who consider themselves cult, cool, non-traditional, open-minded people. How many of them would watch a "lesbian movie"? Unfortunately not all listed above. Not being open to watch a lesbian movie is the only reason I can think of to not watch this one.
on January 11, 2013
So I have finally seen the movie or should I say the "Emotionally Mesmerising Piece of Artistic Beauty" I have seen in some time. Nicole Conn and Marina Rice Bader you have stunned me. I loved "Elena Undone" and never imagined you could reach so much higher with your works. Boy was I wrong. The artwork itself was simply awesome. The actors were passionate in every respect. From Imelda Corcoran and Mary Wells characters so beautifully matched as a couple (loved their words for love...erotic, delicious, magical, mystical). To Morgan Fairchild and Rebecca Staab's characters watching over Paris. They way you brought Barbara Niven/Rebecca's vulnerability from the first love scene to Jessica Clark/Paris' vulnerability to the last love scene...all I can say is what an emotional journey. The episode with the ring and whether it was precious due to it's monetary value...made me think of the true value of some of my possessions. And the way it was filmed with the smallest details and stunning angles. Tal Lazar is a truly talented artist in every respect. Congratulations ladies for once again bringing the best to us.
on January 23, 2013
Pointillism as art, as cinema, as life. That is A Perfect Ending. Pay attention. Be aware. Live fully. Live deeply. Give of yourself and you will be given in return. This film encompasses so much, it's hard to know where to begin. Such complexities, yet stated so simply, so purely... The pain, the loss, the mistakes, the lies, the avoidance, the confessions, the releases, the awakenings, the discoveries, the passions, the beauty, the love... I can't say I've lived a life that remotely translates to any of these characters' stories... yet there is so very much, under the surface, which I can relate to and connect with on some level. I was surprised how much, when I sat down to think about it. But most telling is how the film makes me feel. Whether you can relate or not, Nicole Conn's direction, and Barbara Niven and Jessica Clark's performances makes you FEEL. That is the highest praise I know to bestow on a film. The internal lives of these two characters are exquisitely expressed in a way that might surprise some people, but for me made perfect sense in my seemingly scattered brain. Random pieces that when put together make a whole. That is us. Individual persons brought together. That is life. Random moments ultimately connected. Pay attention. Be aware. Life is short. Live it...fully, deeply, completely...without reservation or fear. And above all, love. Love with your whole being. This film was made with such passionate love. You see it in every frame. One of the most moving moments of the entire film for me was watching the end credits. All the beautiful, hard working, loving people who made this film, shared with the audience, not just by name, but by their glowing faces. It's beautiful. That's art. That's love. That's life. Brava.
on December 29, 2012
well where do i start this film is so heart warming and so over whelming barbara niven and jessica clark are the most talented actresses ive ever seen they made this movies so believable the chemistry of paris and rebecca was touching u cud feel the tension and the heat. i was so amazed of the storyline and how it was portrayled NICOLE CONN the director has done an awesome job of making this awesome and amazing movie i was so moved and tearfully after i watch this films. thanx u to jessica and barbara and nicole for this wonderfully moving film u totally deserve an awards.
on January 13, 2013
I finally saw this movie after watching the trailer several times. I ended up renting it and watched it about 6 times. This movie is so wonderful. I laughed, I cried, I cried so hard. I felt like I was living Rebecca's story. It helped me understand some things I have been feeling lately. I haven't been able to stop thinking about this movie. They couldn't have picked anyone better to play these two ladies. Congratulations on a very moving film. I will be purchasing a copy of my very own.
on January 15, 2013
I really liked it but at the same time was a tad disappointed. Barbara Niven was very very brave to play the role she did, there is a lot of nudity and the journey her character goes on is a tough one. She is gorgeous btw. I guess I expected more development outside of the bedroom between Rebecca and Paris. I would have liked to see them sneak a date in somewhere and to see Pairs being more affected by Rebecca while she was with her other John's. I also didn't care about what Rebecca's (Niven) children were doing, nor did I really care about Paris's (Clarke) past since it really had nothing to do with the main plot line of the story and the telling of Paris's past was choppy, drawn out, and hard to follow.
The amazing love scenes rival those in Desert Hearts BUT the music played during EVERY love making scene drove me INSANE. The sound editing throughout the movie was horrible. It was hard to make out words especially during the sex. I would have liked to hear the women, not some annoying LOUD music playing in the background. Also their editor of photography should be slapped, I found so many scenes were in one shot a person had a scarf on, a different camera angle of the same scene the scarf or glass or flowers or necklace were gone. It was little inconsistencies like this that brought my rating of 5 stars down to 4.
I found it hard to believe that a stuck up middle aged house wife would 1, have lesbians as best friends 2, stand by her husband (no matter how much money he had) after what he did to her daughter (she was much stronger than that)and 3, have a raging love affair with a woman while going through what she is going through instead of spending time with her kids.
Speaking of Rebecca's lesbian best friends (Wells and Corcoran) their chemistry was great! I'd love to see a movie with just them. John Heard (the ass hole husband) gave a great performance also. Morgan Fairchild as the `pimp' just confused me with her weird role and odd obsession with dolls.
Over all I really did like this movie, I watched it about 5 times, Barbara and Jessica had amazing chemistry and the plot line was decent, it just really needed to be tweaked so the story was tighter. I highly recommend checking it out its very hot and Barbara Niven's performance is amazing.
on December 10, 2012
I saw this movie at a film festival and was so moved and touched by this well written and presented story. Barbara Niven is spectacular. I'm still impacted by her performance. Jessica Clark delivers a spell binding role with that smoky voice, look and sexuality. A WOW! Nicole Conn has written and created a film that we will talk about for years- re-visiting it and learning every time we do. Remember the impact of High Art? or Elena Undone? This s not just a lesbian love story. This is a story of two women coming together to find themselves. And we viewers as voyeurs are privileged to follow them on their journey. A must watch!