2007 - Belgium - 103 minutes
Director - Sam Garbarski
Writers - Martin Herron and Philippe Blasband
Internet Movie Database User Rating - 7.3/10 - Link to IMDb
My Rating - 4 of 5 Stars

Maggie is a widow in her fifties living in a small English village outside of London. She has spent her life in a humdrum manner taking care of her family. Her grandson is very ill and in the hospital. His only chance of survival is surgery in Australia. The medical expenses will be paid by the health care system, but the transportation, etc. must be provided by the family.

Maggie does not have the money, and her son has been out of work for almost a year. Maggie is determined to get the money and goes off to London in a quest of employment of any sort. She is greeted with disdain by potential employers and employment agencies as she is an unremarkable woman with no experience or talent.

In an act of final desperation, Maggie enters a sex shop on a seedy street in London advertising help wanted. It is here that Maggie finds she has a talent much sought after by the clientele of the shop. She is given the professional name of Irina Palm by her boss, Miki.

It should be obvious that there are going to be sizable repercussions from a modest widow so radically expanding her range of experience, and there are.

Marianne Faithfull and Yugoslavian actor Miki Manojlovic are extremely effective as Maggie and Miki - two people who despite their age are able to learn and develop from their experiences.

You’ll find that Irina Palm is a very slow moving film but one that offers a very different view of human nature. It is an intriguing slice of life.

Neil Turner
August 18, 2008

Irina Palm