A movie about conjoined (or "Siamese") twins and a prostitute sounds like a bad joke or a sleazy porn flick, but Twin Falls Idaho is actually an eerie, atmospheric story about love and mutual dependence. Penny (Michele Hi... more »cks) gets called to a dingy hotel room where she discovers Blake and Francis Falls (twin brothers Mark and Michael Polish). When they go into the bathroom to get her a glass of water, she flees--but forgets her purse. When she returns, Blake and Francis don't get angry; they accept her fear and horror with sad resignation. Their vulnerability draws Penny into their lives, as she learns that the illness of one twin threatens the lives of both. Twin Falls Idaho moves slowly, but the pace never drags. The lush cinematography is drenched in color; the makeup, costumes, and set design feel not quite contemporary and combine to give the movie a dislocated, otherworldly look. The movie was written by the Polish brothers and directed by Michael; though it's their first film, it feels confident and has a sweet, melancholy humor. The performances of the entire cast--including supporting appearances by Patrick Bauchau, Lesley Ann Warren, and Garrett Morris--are consistent and strong. Though clearly influenced by David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks), Twin Falls Idaho slowly becomes a unique and affecting creation. The delicate image of the twin brothers quietly whispering in each other's ears will linger in your memory long after the movie ends. --Bret Fetzer« less
""Twin Falls Idaho" is a dream-haunter of a film! Lovingly and meticulously directed by Michael Polish and written with quiet brilliance by Mark Polish (with help from twin brother Michael), this gentle, soft-spoken film is one of the three best films of 1999. The imagery in the film is sometimes warm and dreamlike, but more often gritty and stark, pointing out subtext to the audience without utilizing masks or shadows. It's a wonderful story about the nature of relationships: about love and marriage and "divorce"; and about the lives of those unfortunates society labels as "different", and the realization that they are not so different as society may have initially supposed. The acting is superb; the Polish brothers are completely believable as the conjoined twins Blake and Francis Falls, performing feats like deftly buttoning up each other's shirts or playing the guitar together (Blake strums while Francis manages the fret for chord changes) as if they had, indeed, done it all their lives. As the film rolled on, I found myself loving these two guys as unique and colorful individuals, and empathizing with their unique plight. And the often-utilized "Hooker with a Heart" character Penny is given new light and life by Mark Polish's careful crafting of the character and by Michelle Hicks edgy yet warm performance. If you're like me, "Twin Falls Idaho" will leave you awake nights, thinking long and long. I look forward to seeing what the Polish brothers will do next, either collaboratively or on their own."
Lowkeyed, subtle drama
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 08/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`Twin Falls Idaho' proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that love stories do indeed come in every shape, size and form. This low budget, independent film actually tells two love stories: one between two brothers conjoined together from birth and the other between them and a golden-hearted prostitute who befriends them.This movie is an obvious labor of love on the part of the filmmakers. Writer/director Michael Polish and his real life identical twin brother, Mark, who co-wrote the screenplay, also star as Francis and Blake Falls, a pair of Siamese twins who, on their birthday, order up a hooker played by newcomer Michelle Hicks. Though initially frightened away by the `freakishness' of the situation, the young lady, Penny, finds herself growing attached to these two painfully quiet and withdrawn young men who seem to have a strange symbiotic relationship she is unable to comprehend but which, in some strange way, speaks to a yearning for companionship lodged deep within her own troubled soul. The film becomes a moving study of three social outcasts groping towards each other for support and affirmation. In many ways, the most striking aspect of the film is the quiet, hushed tone it uses to unfold a drama that could, by its very nature, easily succumb to cheap sensationalism and exploitation. Blake and Francis, so long conditioned by a lifetime of societal rejection to draw into themselves and stay conveniently out of sight, have created a private universe where they barely ever speak above a whisper. Penny, herself lost in a cold, uncaring world, seems instinctively drawn to the innate goodness and politeness of the two men and she quickly learns to look beyond the physical difference that has served as a barrier between them and so many others. The film also does not go for the obvious choices one might expect in a work about misunderstood social outcasts; it, wisely, refrains from ladling on emotionally manipulative scenes in which people stare rudely at the pair or in which opportunistic exploiters work their wiles on the boys. Although the film does touch on both those issues in a minor way, the primary focus always remains the relationship that is developing among the three main characters. There is a haunting sequence in which Blake, the healthier and more physically robust of the two, in a fit of pent-up frustration, actually attempts to pull away from Francis - emotionally if not quite physically. But Blake realizes that he and his brother are fated to go through eternity together one way or the other and that he really would not want it any other way. Indeed, this is as much a love story about two brothers as it is about two men and a woman.As the Siamese twins, the Polish brothers achieve a remarkable triumph on the level of sheer physicality, somehow convincing us, by their movements and mannerisms, that they really are two people sharing the same body. More impressively, they bring a beautifully understated pathos to their interactions both with each other and the people with whom they come in contact. Ditto for Michelle Hicks who effectively conveys the compassionate understanding that brings a rare ray of light to the otherwise dark world in which the boys live out their secret life.One could argue that `Twin Falls Idaho' hedges its bets by portraying a pair of Siamese twins with which no audience would have any trouble falling in love. And, perhaps, there is something to be said for that criticism. A more courageous film might have shown us a slightly more combative, angered or embittered pair, one which struck out at an unreasoningly prejudiced and cruel world in ways that might make them less palatable to us and therefore much harder to like. Perhaps. Yet, as the first film that I can ever remember even having the nerve to tackle such a risky subject, `Twin Falls Idaho,' in its call for tolerance and understanding, deserves all the kudos it has rightfully received."
Twin Falls Idaho
Akethan | Arlington, VA United States | 12/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the restrained colors, music, pacing, acting - every element of this movie was perfectly thought out and perfectly connected.Including the Polish Brothers in their role as conjoined twins. They allow a peek inside what it is like to be a twin in the first place - but taking it to the most extreme example of two twin brothers that love and hate one another. And live with the knowlege that the weaker of the two has very little time left to live.And they delicately touch on all the little things that two attached people face daily - from their sleeping routines, to time in the bathroom, being a spectacle in public, their tender love for one another, and the one twin falling in love.I picked up the movie on a whim, thinking it would be comedic freakshow material. It turned out to be so much better than my expectations."
Quiet and Beautiful
Roland E. Zwick | 12/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since watching this movie almost a week ago, I can think of little else. I am spellbound by it. I watched it a second time the next day. If you are considering watching or purchasing this DVD, here's what you need to know:The movie is beautifully artisitic, without being inaccesible. The acting is superb, the dialogue enchanting, and the humor in this serious movie is gentle. The pace is slow, dreamlike, exploratory. There is no big to-do to cheapen the end. Instead there is a feeling of "this is just a piece of life, it began before you started watching, and it will keep going after you get off your couch" Its like watching someone very intriguing in the airport, overhearing a whispered argument or a whispered profession of love, and having your flight called before you can hear how it ends. If you like action and tidy endings, this is not your film. But if you like dreamy glimpses at the way others might live, this movie will keep you awake for a week thinking of nothing else."
I was not expecting this !!!
G. W. Wilson | 04/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would not exactly call myself a softy, but this movie touched just about every emotion possible.
I consider myself a typical guy, and therefore stopped while channel surfing late one night to check out 'Penny'. After a few minutes I brought on the info. on the movie and thought I would check out a little more since the description indicated that the 'hooker' was going to seduce the twins. Ok, what the hell, I'll hang around a bit just to see some skin... Penny is pretty hot.
But within ten minutes I was captured by both the performance of the characters and the writing. Absolutely not the 'run of the mill' kinda of movie. This was so much more than the 'sleaze' I was expecting. This movie is so thought provoking and emotional that I literally had tears in my eyes by the end of the movie. Boy, am I'm glad my girlfriend was not around. Then again, maybe that would have been a GOOD thing.
Anyway, after the movie ended I felt ashamed about what I was expecting, that is after I blew my nose. This was way more of an intimate EXPERIENCE. It'll stick with you for a while. "