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Irina Palm

(2008) * 1/2 R
100 min. Strand Releasing. Director: Sam Garbarski. Cast: Marianne Faithfull, Miki Manojlovic, Siobhan Hewlett, Dorka Gryllus, Jenny Agutter.
For something completely different (though also written and directed by men), there's Irina Palm, which casts Marianne Faithfull as a self-described "frump" who dresses like a housecleaner but discovers her sexual powers by masturbating men in a sex club. The widower finds herself in this unlikely profession when her family runs out of money to pay for the treatment of her ailing grandson, an unimpeachable excuse to start wanking through a glory hole. Her stage name, "Irina Palm," is a cheeky reference to her magic hands. As her new boss tells her at her job interview, "Hands like yours are made for those sort of things." Believing her own press, Irina reawakens to her own self-worth while risking alienation from her friends and family. Faithfull is great, but the storyline is absurd and shamelessly unlikely at every turn.
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