Food of Love

Ladymol's Review:

Paul an aspiring concert pianist is asked to be the page-turner for a famous pianist, Richard.

Gradually, Richard seduces Paul and they embark on a loving and intensely exciting affair, but Richard is already in a relationship and Paul is only 18 and beginning his career.

This is a beautiful film, played out to wonderful piano music. Strong and believable performances from the cast and an honest look at a young manís discovery of his sexuality.

Recommended, but it's not going to set your life on fire.

Cerisaye's Review:

Paul is a young American who dreams of becoming a concert pianist like his hero Richard Kennington.† When Richard plays a† concert in San Francisco, Paul acts as page turner, attracting the attention of both Richard and his manager, Joseph Mansourian.†

By happy coincidence the two meet again in Barcelona, where Paul and his annoyingly needy mother are on holiday.† Paul takes the initiative, going to Richardís hotel room, clearly hoping something will happen between them.† It does.

They have an intense affair under the myopic gaze of Paulís mother whoís reeling from a messy divorce.† Paul is 18 and Richard 40, but itís never exactly clear whoís using who. Paul is clearly infatuated with Richard. Is it, however, the pianistís talent or louche good looks that most attract?† Paul knows what heís doing and the relationship is physical.† The sex is tame, hinting more than showing, however there are pretty decently erotic scenes to give us a flavour.†

Richard takes fright when he realises not only is Paul in love with him, he has similar feelings. Itís complicated because Richardís highly successful manager is also his lover.† And Richard isnít a prodigy any more.† Paul is devastated when Richard flees, however, he still has his music and the prospect of Julliard, with the possibility of meeting again in New York.

At this point the movie lost me.† I liked Paul and Richardís relationship, yet when we move from beautiful Barcelona to New York, Paul has taken up with another older man.† Are we to assume Paul is so determined to reach his goal and become a concert pianist heíll sleep with anyone able to help him?† Or merely looking to replace the absent Richard, a father figure?

Paul is jealous of another more talented piano student and gets intimate with Joseph as substitute for the unobtainable Richard when asked to be page turner at a private recital.†† A lot of attention is paid to the relationship between Paul and his mother, who finally discovers her son is gay at the same time heís told by his old teacher he just isnít good enough to cut it on the concert stage.

Weíre left to wonder whether Paul was never up to his dream or if he allowed infatuation to lead him astray at a time when he shouldíve focused on music.† Paul and his mother comfort each other, reconciled in a touching if not entirely believable scene.††

The performances are variable.† Paul is weak and unconvincing and Juliet Stephenson as the mother a bit OTT, though I did like Richard, the charming but weak artiste whoís afraid of love and losing the only thing heís known since he was like Paul.† For some reason all the actors are British playing American.†† Cast/director interviews hint at depth I mustíve missed.† Barcelona looks great though.

But Food Of Love [2003] from Amazon UK here

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