FEAST OF LOVE
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Morgan Freeman as HARRY STEVENSON
Greg Kinnear as BRADLEY SMITH
Radha Mitchell as DIANA
Billy Burke as DAVID WATSON
Selma Blair as KATHRYN
Alexa Davalos as CHLOE
Directed by: Robert Benton
BY KEVIN CARR
The film “Feast of Love” examines the different stages of love in different relationships. It’s an ensemble piece with an older married couple as the anchor characters. They watch several relationships take seed, blossom, and then go on to thrive or wilt as time goes on.
The characters approach love in many of its iterations. There’s a man whose wife turns to a lesbian affair. There’s a young couple so passionately in love that they face humiliation and danger together. There’s a woman who cannot resolve her own fidelity issues. And like love, the stories don’t always work out neatly or safely.
Let’s get through the obvious (and admittedly piggish) points first. There’s a lot of nudity in this film, and in general it’s pretty good. If you’ve ever been curious to see what Radha Mitchell, Selma Blair or Alexa Davalos look like naked, this is the film to check out. And, for the other side of the gender coin, there’s some tasteful and sensual male nudity in the movie as well. In fact, probably the only cast member who doesn’t disrobe in this film is Morgan Freeman, and that’s definitely a good thing. (No offense, Morgan, but I don’t think anyone’s surfing MrSkin.com for your screen captures.)
Normally, I wouldn’t point out the nudity in such a blatant way, but it comes not just from the side of me that wants to see these actresses in the buff. It actually speaks to a level of respect that the filmmakers had for this movie. They weren’t afraid to bare it all, which is often needed in the film. The nudity is not gratuitous but rather necessary to show the characters in their most vulnerable moments. And I respect the fact that they went down this road instead of shooting in shadow or with conveniently placed sheets.
“Feast of Love” is not my typical cup of tea, and if you pardon the pun, I really didn’t love it. But it was definitely an interesting movie that caught my attention more than I ever expected it would.
The DVD comes with a single special feature, which is an 11-minute look at the actors’ approach to the characters. Although the amount of features are slim, like the film itself, was of very good quality and more enjoyable to watch than I expected.