Irina Palm

Your first hint about this one is that you have to be over 21 to register for the trailer.

That being said, I want to recommend a film that I saw at the Sedona Film Festival a couple of years ago. An entry from the U.K., it was a major hit with our screening audience and I have loaned out my DVD countless times; I have heard nothing but praise for it in response.

It features a former vocalist on the music scene a few decades ago, Marianne Faithfull. If her name rings a bell, you are the perfect age to see this movie.

She depicts a meek widow whose grandson is very ill. There is a chance to save his life if the family can manage to raise air fare to Sidney, Australia. They have already spent everything they have on the boy's care and have nothing left to sell, pawn or barter. Our widow has already sold her house but is determined to find a way to help her grandson.

She discovers that a "woman of a certain age" with no experience and no marketable skills isn't very likely to find a job, but in Soho, she sees a "Help Wanted" sign in the window of a sex shop. Upon inquiring, she learns they are looking for a hostess but she's too old. Then someone gets the bright idea to hire her to provide a standard service (hand jobs) where she stays out of sight. She finds the whole idea shocking, but she's desperate enough that she screws her courage to a sticking place and takes the job.

Turns out she has a real knack and becomes not only popular, but fairly successful. To her great relief, she is now in a position to get an advance on her salary and pay for her son and his family to go to Australia.

Of course, her son wants to know where she got all that money. Therein lies the tale...

Suffice it to say, this is cleverly photographed, wonderfully scripted and beautifully acted. It is so satisfying to see this meek woman become very matter-of-fact about her job, develop a sense of self worth, stand her ground against the sanctimonious biddies in her neighborhood and forge a loving relationship with her daughter-in-law.

You will enjoy this one more if you can locate a DVD with subtitles. Mine doesn't have them, but I caught a scene on television the other day and it had closed captions, so watch for it.

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