3 December 2002 | KaterinaNV
Gene and Lillian - More Please
I was fascinated with this film. And I was glad to see Essence Atkins in a drama and a feature no less. Although she seemed a little uncomfortable in the genre, I believe it's a good beginning. I was even more pleased with discovering something new, the actress that plays Lillian played by Jade Henham. There was such a naturalness to her being and performance that she completely ensconced me from beginning to end. I also enjoyed the relationship between Andrea (Atkins) and Lilly (Henham) - their portrayal of best friends that share everything was so authentic and not "Hollywoodish" at all.
The most fascinating part of the whole film though is the relationship between Gene (Sam Bottoms) and Lilly. If for nothing else, the film is worth just that in itself. The dynamics of the relationship and the psychological 'scoreboard' between the two was totally encompassing. If I have any gripe with the movie, it's that I would have liked to have seen more of what went on in that bedroom and just more of Gene and Lilly, period. Their bond, or whatever it is, is just so complicated and unorthodox that I wanted to wash the boyfriend out of the film so that I could concentrate on picking apart and studying the two of them. My only thought is that the mind is always better when left to the imagination and perhaps that what's the filmmaker was thinking by limiting how much he allowed us to see. Perhaps I wouldn't have been as intrigued if I'd seen "everything." But any way you look at it, I still came home wanting more of Gene and Lilly. Then again, if you come home wanting more of something then you obviously just saw something that was pretty damn good. And I'd have to say that "Looking Through Lillian" was that - pretty damn good. It is a bunch of unknowns and first time out of the gate talent, so after seeing what they accomplished on the first try, I will be keenly watching to see where they all go when they've blossomed and become seasoned.