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Pianist envy: Juliet Stevenson steals Food of Love from the virtuosi. (film review).

Food of Love * Written and directed by Ventura Pons * Starring Juliet Stevenson, Paul Rhys, Allan Corduner, and Kevin Bishop * TLA Releasing

Adapting David Leavitt's The Page Turner for the screen, gay Catalonian filmmaker Ventura Pons shows himself to be very comfortable in Leavitt's twee cerebral world, where a 60-ish music impresario wears a silk dressing gown to greet the hustler out of the back pages of Unzipped and seduces a young musician to a Scarlatti harpsichord piece. Out actor Allan Corduner plays the impresario, just one point of a romantic triangle that includes an acclaimed younger pianist (Paul Rhys) and a doe-eyed 18-year-old aspiring performer (Kevin Bishop) who has caught the eyes of the other two.

But the anchor of the story winds up being the boy's mother, and not just because of the powerful performance from Juliet Stevenson. (The British actress starts out with one of those American accents that seems condescending, but she grows on you.) While the character initially comes off as a twit, she matures--a hilariously awkward PFLAG meeting seems to help--to become the beacon of sanity that her son so desperately needs.

Stevenson has the same effect on Food of Love. Whenever the movie's puffy discourse about classical music or true love starts getting a little thick, she anchors the film, making it more touching and powerful than it might otherwise have been.
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Article Details
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Author:Duralde, Alonso
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Nov 26, 2002
Words:228
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