User Reviews (6)

Add a Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    (This review may contain some spoilers.)

    The film starts out innocently enough. Lounge pianist Francis goes over to a school to enroll his daughter in the first grade, and also gets to meet the teacher, Halley. They bond, and begin an affair. Nothing wrong with that. It's not until a little over halfway through the film that everything falls apart--the relationship between Halley and Francis, along with his psychological state.

    Colleen's script is well-written; and the performances by all the actors were outstanding. Both Zach Bennett and Katja Riemann were nominated for Genies (Canada's answer to the Oscars) for their work in this film, and rightfully so; as I'm sure filming this was difficult for each of them, given what their characters had to see and do. I don't think some who have seen this film realize that the movie was meant to leave you with a disturbing feeling inside. That was what writer/director Colleen Murphy set out to do; and she accomplished that. And she did so very well.
  • raina6712 September 2000
    Colleen Murphy seems to have two great talents. One is to write scripts that even the most jaded filmgoer won't find predictable, and the other is to find actors perfect for the characters she creates.

    This is a story about Francis, who does some very bad things (I'll try not to spoil), and it would have been so easy to write the obvious tale of the people around him slowly finding out the horrible truth, and end it by having the Good Guys shoot down the Bad Guy in triumph (and rescue the Damsel in Distress). Uh-huh. Yawn. Thankfully, that doesn't happen here. Every character is three-dimensional, a mixture of good qualities, bad qualities, weaknesses and strengths. You end up feeling very sorry for Francis despite what he's done. I'm sure that alone will make some moviegoers very uncomfortable, but I thought it was very well-done and thought-provoking. Zach Bennett plays Francis and gives a terrific performance in a very difficult role that goes the range from charming and suave to insecure and scared to psychotic and out of control. Katja Riemann (Halley) plays his schoolteacher girlfriend, who, refreshingly, does not require being run over with the clue bus to figure out her boyfriend's hiding something. (Can you ever tell a woman wrote this script). Other standouts include the actress who played Francis' elderly, controlling and too-close-for-comfort mother and the actor who was Halley's eccentric but well-meaning father. Alberta Watson makes the most of a small part as a coffee shop owner who's as charmed by Francis's outward persona as every other woman in the film, and familiar face Graham Greene shows up as a p.i. searching for a missing girl. Overall, a very cleverly written and complex film that I'd highly recommend.
  • It's a movie about lust and desire and the various forms it takes. I know that some people want to attach some higher meaning to it, such as the evil in men's hearts, etc., but it's it's basically about the various forms of lust/desire that people have in their hearts. The character, Francis the musician, with his screwed-up upbringing is a bit of a schizoid, and his desire for Halley the schoolteacher reflects one side of his personality, but his desire for less savory things (which I won't spoil) reflects the other side of his personality. Even the character of Morris the lounge owner, Francis' boss, reflects a homosexual desire for Francis.

    I have to say, Katja Riemann, as Halley, is extremely sexy. She was an ideal choice for the older woman role. Teamed up with Zach Bennett as Francis, there was a definite chemistry there. I didn't realize that Zach Bennett was so young either. At the time of filming Bennett must have been 20 years old, while Katja must have been 37.
  • g&afan14 September 2000
    Desire is a well put together thriller, with an excellent script, and outstanding acting. It holds interest and manages to engage the viewer with action, suspense and a little comedy thrown in for good measure. I highly recommend it!
  • philip-ct21 October 2001
    Nasty little film about a nasty big subject trivialised, exploited, blown-up, sensationalised, under-researched. What a waste of Katja Rieman's talents. I had a nasty nasty feeling when the film was finished. Pointedly pointless.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This comment contains specific spoilers.

    I found this film really disappointing, particularly because it is a shallow (and after the first half hour) rather predictable detective story, of a private investigator hunting down a child murderer who happens to have fallen in love with the teacher while stalking out a primary school.

    While there are some allusions to the origin of the tortuous perversion in the cold, loveless and demandingly cruel selfishness of his mother, the film never gets to any insights or depth, and for a simple mystery or thriller film there must be thousands of less sordid themes to explore. Even in the ending I could not find any redemption that would warrant sitting through 90 minutes depicting mostly senseless suffering, and it is not surprising that the film has been limited to the film festival circuit, and not seen a wider release.

    If there is any value in the film then it is in the fairly articulate way in which it shows that beauty (in this case the sensitivity and talent of a gifted piano player) does not correlate with goodness, and that initial appearances can be very deceptive and misleading of what lies beneath.