I don’t normally write ‘disappointing’ and ‘Tilda Swinton’ in the same sentence, but with the 1996 movie Female Perversions unusually Tilda has backed the wrong horse. Although to be fair to this talented actress she worked really hard to put some life into a diabolical script and wasn’t helped by some under achieving direction by one Susan Streitfeld. The film has that ‘made for television’ look about it, you know the sort of thing, style over substance.
Inspired by a great story from Louise Kaplan, from her book of the same name, involving a high-powered attorney Eve Stephens (Swinton) who is in the running for an appointment as a judge. But Eve is not all she seems being driven by bizarre visions, wild sexual fantasies and an insatiable carnal desire. Her male lover does not satisfy her sexual longings so she seduces the female psychiatrist who has recently moved in to her office building. Adding to Eve’s anxiety is her replacement who turns out to be a very attractive women who she sees as a threat to both her power and her beauty.
I can’t help but think how much better it could have been if directed by a European director with the skills to take what should be an erotic story and give it the consideration it deserved, perhaps someone of calibre of Christophe Honore (Ma Mere 2003), Michael Haneke (Piano Teacher 2002), Francois Ozon (Water Drops on Burning Rocks 2000) or it you want something really special Catherine Breillet (Anatomy of Hell 2004).