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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 26.92%
Average: 1.92%
Pretty Bad: 13.46%
Total Crap: 5.77%

3 reviews, 34 user ratings

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Lost and Delirious
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by Greg Muskewitz

"It manages to be tasteful and erotic."
4 stars

The key to accepting “Lost and Delirious” is through embracing its amateur nature. It’s like a first-draft adaptation of a novel, not necessarily from a very literary source, but too reliant on the blocky, prosy dialogue and narration.

Léa Pool is an accomplished director in Canada, but with none of her features recognizable to me, I haven’t even heard of them or her. Adapted from Susan Swan’s novel “The Wives of Bath,” a reticent young girl Mary (Mischa Barton) is abandoned at a boarding school by her father and new step-mother. Roomed with two highly carefree girls, the outspoken and opinionated Pauline (Piper Perabo) and the well-liked and party-hearty, comely Victoria (Jessica Paré). The more time Mary, nicknamed Mary Brave, née Mouse, spends with the girls, the more accustomed she grows to their idiosyncrasies until she realizes many of the risqué embraces they’ve shared are actually for each other instead of practicing on one another. Mary has no qualms about the relationship, though it mostly stays unspoken about, but once Victoria’s goodie-goodie sister catches the girls in bed naked, Victoria is forced to pull out of the relationship for fear of her dictating parents finding out and to prevent it from being “falsely” spread around the school. (Yeah, right. But that doesn’t mean the truth cannot be manipulated.) Pauline, being the outcast of misfortune, is left to try and win Victoria back, who has taken up a physical relationship with a guy from the nearby boy’s boarding school. Mary, and an eagle that Pauline has been nursing back to health, are the only two things she has left, neither of which measure to the happiness she had with Victoria.

“Lost and Delirious” has its regular run booked with Landmark Theatres, but it will also have a showing at this year’s annual Outfest on Saturday, July 21. It plays evenly as a token of lesbian cinema, but at root, there is some real emotion and special performances that create an additional bridge of accessibility. The situation of these girls is familiar; Perabo says it near the beginning, “Like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. Only we’re girls, the Lost Girls, lost and delirious.” The subjects are treated gently — almost too gently, until the going gets rough for the twitterpaited Pauline. But the relationship is a passionate one, Pool treats the girls with respect and the movie flourishes in a naïve curiosity. One of the most beautiful things “Lost and Delirious” does is the way it examines chatoyant of a friendship/relationship. Pool efficaciously shows how the luster of the friendship fades, even deteriorates, first, through the break-up of the girls, and then through the audience as we speculate about Pauline’s negative and rantipole behavior. To manipulate characters labeled as good or bad seems something easily enough controlled, but generally it is something that is set and established from start to end, only increasing as the movie progresses. Yet Pool puts the girls on a similar trajectory during the start and begins developing in that direction, only to split them apart and have us question both of their actions — favoring one over the other — only to sort of “recall” that judgment to better assess it on your own. It’s one of the most enviable qualities this offers.

There is no gratuitous sex or nudity between the girls, but there are a couple of tender, sweet scenes that they share. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the still of the night in a silhouette, or a well-lit scene where they are fooling around, but it’s tasteful and very erotic. I’ll bet any number of guys went to see the wet dream of a movie “Coyote Ugly” in hopes of catching some kind of nudity on behalf of the salacious and seductive girls casted. Good has a tendency to come to those who wait, and generally in forms more unexpected and surpassing of previous expectation. First Isabella Miko spent nearly half of “The Forsaken” half-undressed, and now this! Since I saw Piper Perabo in “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,” she has an undeniable charm and attractiveness that I liked. Her apropos choice of nudity in this movie, and under the conditions that it is used seem quite appropriate. In relation to the sex and nudity, newcomer Paré additionally handles it calmly and believably; the more voluptuous of the two, she shares a strange likeliness to Natalie Portman in looks and other occasional mannerisms such as her crying. The anachronism of these Natalie-isms is a welcome familiarity that automatically puts Paré into a more respectable and favorable class. But strictly judging the performance-end of the three girls, they all have an inclination to reach for the unctuous. Perabo is the biggest perp, and most often of the three to find herself in over-acting territory — this being her most intense and forefront role yet. Barton is the most malleable, but also the most flat. When emotions arise, she reaches high levels, but then she drops back down to a draining glow. Paré is the most natural, comfortable of the actresses, but when the movie adjusts its priorities, she’s kind of left out and removed from the immediate action. Her secondary status is a detriment during the conclusive half, and it doesn’t help when the movie starts to dwindle on a tad more than it should have.

With Jackie Burroughs and Graham Greene.

Final Verdict: B+.

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originally posted: 07/28/01 08:05:52
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User Comments

5/24/06 Billy Do you ever see the movies "Elizabeth" and "Elizabeth I"? 3 stars
5/09/06 K. Sear Typical teenage melodramatic crap. This is why people don't take Canadian film seriously. 1 stars
7/19/05 Jeff Anderson An honest, compelling & truthful film. Piper Perabo gives her best performance to date. 5 stars
2/27/05 hamza hamza 5 stars
10/01/04 kassy great story, great cast, great directing... 5 stars
5/02/04 RONALD ELARDO a very touching story about the hearache of being in love! 5 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt A truthful, heartbreaking tragedy! Piper Perabo shines! One of 2001's very best! 5 stars
4/03/04 Rink super 5 stars
7/08/03 jojo a very sad and touching story 5 stars
2/22/03 nanite the new england christian mothers brigade looks at all-girls schools... 2 stars
11/26/02 saghir no comments 1 stars
11/12/02 joseph liccione I really think that all the actors did a great job. Maybe we should watch more films from C 5 stars
11/07/02 patrick OMG THE CHICKS WERE SOOO HOT! DUDE SWEEEET! - no but seriously...this movie is pretty deep. 5 stars
5/30/02 zotteLORRE true melancholic/emotional story 4 stars
2/09/02 A.K. One of the best of the year. Extremely powerful. Piper Perabo is tremendous 5 stars
10/03/01 Leafsfans A movie that is so thought-provoking 5 stars
10/02/01 Foxfire Movie was beautiful and sad... 5 stars
9/29/01 Irit Very sweet, fun and touch movie 5 stars
9/23/01 River The greatest movie ever! 5 stars
9/10/01 Summer Shafer Sexy, Emotional, and Bizarre in the End 5 stars
9/07/01 shane moore sad and depressing.Not just a lezbian film.but for all who understands the human heart 5 stars
9/02/01 Eryn Awesome movie, very well acted, and directed!:) 5 stars
8/29/01 Charleen Auger C'est un film très troublant 5 stars
8/05/01 Trellis21 Reminded me of real life 5 stars
7/27/01 Kelly Extremely believable characters; extremely well done film! 5 stars
7/26/01 Emma This movie represents really well what some1 can feel a deep tru love...but the actions wer 5 stars
7/24/01 bugeyedkitty i cried! 5 stars
7/21/01 Victor Olteanu Canadian Crap, Bad Even by Hollywood Standards 1 stars
7/15/01 Annie Chang very moving performance by piper perabo 5 stars
7/11/01 Andrea Dramatically poignant and brilliantly performed by the three leads, especially Perabo. 5 stars
6/29/01 Christine A good and simple story. Go see it! 5 stars
6/08/01 Lorene Mendoza A very interesting movie 4 stars
5/09/01 Extera Holmes moving, truly captures the world of the school girls in a private boarding school setting 5 stars
5/02/01 Arthur Unknown Finally!! it touched my heart 5 stars
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Directed by
  Lea Pool

Written by
  Judith Thompson

  Mischa Barton
  Grace King
  Jessica Paré
  Piper Perabo
  Emily VanCamp
  Jackie Burroughs

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