Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Food of Love|
Actors: Paul Rhys, Kevin Bishop, Juliet Stevenson, Allan Corduner, Craig Hill
Director: Ventura Pons
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Acclaimed Spanish Director Ventura Pons? first English language film is a beautiful and faithful adaptation of David Leavitt'Ss novel "The Page Turner." Paul is a promising young pianist, who is hired to be a page turner ... more »
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M. FUSCO | NEW YORK, NY | 08/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A study in deception. Aspiring concert pianist Paul (perfectly played by Kevin Bishop) is the only character that displays even a modicum of honesty or integrity. The beautiful, earnest eighteen-year-old is duped and used by everyone he encounters.
When the film opens, Paul is turning pages for his idol, turning-forty concert pianist Richard Kennington (ghoulish Paul Rhys). Sparks fly during the Beethoven. After the concert Richard invites Paul out, but his strident mother thwarts them. Richard's manager, Joseph, hit on the tempting young man before the concert. Unbeknownst to popular Paul, randy Richard and geriatric Joseph are long-time lovers.
Vacationing with his mother in Barcelona, Paul meets Richard again. More determined this time, the older man beds the bonny boy within five minutes via that venerable 'sine qua non' of seduction: a back-rub. In a rare moment of candor, Richard wonders if he made a mistake by hopping into the sack so precipitously, but spoils it by adding he just assumed that was what the boy wanted.
They begin a one-week stand and, between some rather lovely rolls in the hay, explore Barcelona with Paul's histrionic mother. Blind as well as boisterous, she takes a shine to Richard and attempts to seduce him. It doesn't work, of course, but her ghastly flirtation does succeed in making the pianist flee the country without so much as a word of explanation or farewell to the hapless boy.
In New York, Paul moves in with rich troll Alden on Central Park West where he runs into Joseph. More determined this time, the agent promptly seduces the eager boy with concerts, fancy dinners, and the hope of management. But, even when questioned about all the pictures of Richard in his apartment, Joseph does not come clean about their relationship.
Though it could just be the appalling acting and insane script, from all the hemming and hawing it seems that Alden and Joseph have also been 'friendly' in the past so -- let's see -- all four male protagonists have slept with at least two of the others! Paul and Joseph have slept with all three. Only the neurotic mother has been excluded from the sexual merry-go-round, not that she didn't try her best to hop on.
Though he's slept with every man over forty in the film, Paul is closeted to his mother. While snooping, she comes upon some rather 'personal' reading material, has a light-bulb moment, rushes off to an outlandish gay mothers' group, and hops a plane to New York. She confronts Joseph and Richard (at his birthday party, no less) with one last shrill whine of consternation. Suffice it to say, actress Juliet Stevenson hasn't left a shred of scenery unchewed anywhere. Now, at least, everyone knows about the spicy sexual potpourri. As for the luckless lad, the reasons for all his needless suffering finally become clear.
Kevin Bishop is adorably preppy in Burberry from head to toe, with a lovely body and incandescent blue eyes. He is ingenuous and sincere . . most of the time . . but, bewildered by the inexplicable and overbearing behavior all around him, he does become a tad truculent. Who wouldn't?! Extra stars for the seductive stripling. His beauty makes it possible to watch this high-flutin' pot-boiler despite all its goofiness, disjointed dialogue, musical ineptitude, and unintentional hilarity."
Left Me Hungry For More
interested_observer | 06/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Food Of Love" marks the debut of Ventura Pons first English language film and is based on the novel, "The Page Turner" by David Leavitt. As the film began I thought to myself, "This is going to be one of the best gay films I've seen in recent memory", and although I really enjoyed it, what began as a really good coming of age love story, midway through it took a completely different direction and became an after school special, centered around a mother dealing with her son's homosexuality. Having not read the book I can't say how it compares, but as a movie, it left me hungry for more. All the performances are great although the mother (Juliet Stevenson) at times seemed too over the top and almost cartoonish. Kevin Bishop who plays Paul, is a cute, blue-eyed, blonde that showed a wide range of emotions throughout the film, from his first sexual encounter, to his disappointments with school, and frustrations with his mom, and so forth. Paul Rhys also gives a wonderful performance and appears sensitive, intimate and charming towards towards the boy and his mom. It begins in San Francisco as 18 year old Paul Portfield (Kevin Bishop), an aspiring piano player and soon to be Juliard student, gets a job as a page turner for his idol Richard Kennington (Paul Rhys), a renowned concert pianist. During the concert as Paul reaches to turn the pages as Richard plays feverishly, you get the beginning glimpses of the sexual sparks between them. After the concert, Richard invites Paul out for a drink only to be interrupted and taken home by his overprotective and at times manic mother (Juliet Stevenson). After finding out his dad has left his mother for another woman, Paul and his mom venture off to Spain on vacation. While wandering the streets Paul spots a concert poster featuring Richard and he sets out to find him. Paul tracks him down and drops by his hotel room where he's soon seduced by the pianist in an intimate and gentle way. Paul becomes totally infatuated with Richard and after a week long fling Paul and his mom are off to Granada while Richard, unbeknownst to Paul, returns home to New York and his manager/lover Joseph Mansourian (Allan Corduner). Months go by and Paul is now attending Juliard, seeing an older man, and trying to get over Richard. It's a rollercoaster of a ride especially when a classmate of Paul's gets signed by Mansourian while Mansourian wants Paul to be a page turner yet again at a dinner party. In the midst off all this Paul's mom is trying to cope with divorce and, after finding a porn magazine in Paul's suitcase, her son's homosexuality. This is where the story takes a turn that was not completely satisfying. The mother attends a "mom's with gay sons" meeting and it just seemed totally misplaced and campy. Also, while attending school Paul seems to always be in the company of older men. I considered maybe that was his way of looking to a father figure or something but why wasn't he going out with guys his own age? His roommate looked cute enough. Also the portrayal of the older guys seemed to suggest they preyed on younger men. Those are just a couple of the issues I had with the story and I was a bit disappointed that it didn't stay focused on his relationship with Richard. Events unfold and secrets are revealed, but many questions are still left unanswered at the end. Overall I would recommend it but still wish the story had centered more around Paul and his relationships than that of his mother and her issues. I'd love to see a sequel that's for sure! The acting is fine and the locales and direction I thought were great. There are a number of scenes with brief nudity and homoerotic touches that give this picture an "R" rating. The picture quality of the DVD is crisp and clear and so is the audio. It also features extras that include interviews with the cast members, the director Ventura Pons and even David Leavitt, author of the novel. Numerous trailers of other features from TLA Releasing as well."
Ambitious Cosmopolitans' Sex Comedy
interested_observer | San Francisco, CA USA | 06/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Food of Love" is a very fine film of sexual politics set in the cosmopolitan world of the classical music concert business. Paul Porterfield (played by Kevin Bishop) is a talented 18-year-old piano student from the San Francisco Bay Area who wants to make it in the concert world. He takes lessons and wants to go to Juilliard in Manhattan. The film begins with Paul getting to be a page-turner at a concert being performed by his touring hero, Richard Kennington (played by Paul Rhys). At the event, Paul also meets Kennington's manager, Joseph Mansourian (played by Allan Corduner). Both Mansourian and Kennington take notice of Paul. Shortly Paul and his divorcing mother, Pamela (played by Juliet Stevenson), vacation in beautiful Barcelona. Paul finds an ad for a recent Kennington performance and tracks down the pianist. Paul and Kennington get along extra well. A chance incident lets Pamela, Paul, and Kennington be buddies in Barcelona, touring about.Six months later, Paul attends Juilliard. Paul has a gay roommate from back home, Teddy (played by Naim Thomas), and a wealthy boyfriend, Alden Haynes (played by Carlos Castanon). It turns out Mansourian lives in the same building as Haynes, and impressario Mansourian still has his attractions. The problems are that Kennington and Mansourian have a long-term relationship and that piano teacher Mme. Novotna (played by Geraldine McEwan) is starting to have doubts about Paul's talent. When Pamela starts getting clues that something is up, she decides to take drastic action, and the cat-fight begins.It is a pleasure to watch such good acting in the service of a literate script. All of the main characters find themselves in false positions and try to spin their ways out of it. Each has to decide what is really important to him or her. The character who actually grows the most is the mother, Pamela, who starts out oblivious to anything other than her routine self and her son's initial dream, and who has to cope with a number of shocks without messing matters up for good. On display from many characters is an ability and desire to overlook others' untidiness, no matter what the initial bluster might suggest.Kevin Bishop does a fine job of balancing his projected motivations. With his character in repeated high-stress situations, one cannot be sure whether Paul is a victim of others, a gold-digger, or a weak-willed, go-with-the-flow guy. He is certainly an aggressive flatterer of successful pianists. There is some room for interpretation. There are substantial skin scenes with Paul and with Kennington, not necessarily together. All is tasteful. The exterior scenes in Barcelona were especially beautiful. I wish there had been a special feature telling the audience about these shots. The DVD has excellent special features. There is an interview with director Ventura Pons, coupled with behind-the-scenes shots. The main actors (Stevenson, Rhys, Corduner, Bishop, and McEwan) provide five terrific interviews, especially when they discuss the characters they played. A third feature is an interview with David Leavitt, the author of "The Page Turner", on which the movie is based. He discusses his feelings about the relationship between the book and the movie and about the current state of art by and about gay people. Finally there are trailers for "Food of Love" and for five other films. These were useful features, well done.Finding fault, one might debate whether Paul would leave the clues he did for his mother to find. I have a memory that the screen version of the movie had a bit of subplot for Juilliard roommate Teddy that does not appear on the DVD. Lastly, I found the fonts used in the chapter listings and in the special features difficult to read. Still a "Food of Love" good movie that shows sensitivity to a variety of characters going through crises and trying to get along and to move up to the next stage of life."
Emotional drama and classical artistry
Darien Wells | Tulsa, Oklahoma USA | 10/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW! This is one time I wish I could add a few stars to the rating system. I absolutely love this film. "Food of Love" introduces newcomer Kevin Bishop who gives a riveting, flawless performance as the lead character. The very beautiful Bishop plays the part of Paul, a young aspiring musician trying to achieve his dream of becoming a concert pianist. As Paul gets the chance to meet his idol, pianist Richard Kennington (Paul Rhys), hero worship and attraction lead to infatuation. When he discovers the attraction is mutual, the two share a steamy affair in Barcelona, and Paul falls madly in love for the first time. He is on his way, but his search for real love has only begun. Juliet Stevenson portrays Pauls mother, recently dumped by his dad for another woman. She is a basket case until she sees her son struggling to find himself. Her concern for him helps her deal with her own problems, and the two confront life head-on to discover real love by facing the truth neither have opened their eyes to alone. Both Stevenson and Bishop are very much British actors, with VERY British accents. They portray an American mother and son with absolute clarity, losing the accent and sounding very American. Real professionalism! This had to be a very difficult task to perform. You will understand when you watch the extras on this DVD and see their interviews, where they are very much themselves. Only one time did I notice Bishop pronouncing a word with hint of a british accent. Can you find it? This young man has a bright future ahead of him as an actor if he so decides to continue his career. I look forward to seeing more from him. You certainly won't be offended by his looks, or his body. If you hate classical music, this is probably not the film for you, but if you can muddle through that, the film has a very strong plot. It will hold your interest all the way through if you enjoy films of this nature. "Food of Love" is based on the novel "The Page Turner" by author David Leavitt. Casting and directing are excellent. Acting is superb. As with any film there are a few spots that are less than perfect, but give the production a realism that doesn't in any way seem faked. Great photography, beautifully filmed and good sound quality. I recommend this movie very highly and hope you enjoy it as much as I did."