Friday, March 20, 2015

Movie with Abe: She’s Lost Control

She’s Lost Control
Directed by Anja Marquardt
Released March 20, 2015

Sex and those who work in the field are frequent film subjects. Playing a prostitute and dying of a disease are two surefire ways to be considered for an Oscar nomination, and there are many different lenses through which sex can be shown. Three years ago, Helen Hunt played a sex surrogate in “The Sessions” working with a man unable to move the majority of his body to help him feel sexually comfortable, and earned an Oscar nomination for her work. Brooke Bloom’s performance as a sex surrogate in “She’s Lost Control” probably won’t be seen widely enough to earn Oscar attention, but this Independent Spirit Award-nominated film is a strong and electric look at a woman exploring herself while helping others to explore how they feel about sex.

Bloom stars as Ronah, a woman working with a therapist to help men have sexual experiences that prepare them for real world interactions. She meets frequently with her supervisor to update him on patients and their progress, and he even meets directly with the patients to discuss the work that they are doing with her. This serves to separate Ronah from being a prostitute or someone acting illicitly. She takes precautions before she engages with a patient, and puts her all into her role while remaining fully aware – and reminding her patients – of why they are spending time together.

“She’s Lost Control” offers a compelling look at a less talked-about profession and the effects it has. Ronah’s life is not particularly thrilling, with her bathtub leaking and the extent of her true social interactions being making dinner for her neighbor on one occasion. One particularly troublesome patient (Marc Menchaca) comes along, as they always do, and forces her to examine how much she should open up to help him experience intimacy and come to terms with how he relates to sex. Crucially, Ronah feels like a real, genuine person.

Bloom’s breakout performance is the number one reason to see this film, transforming Ronah from a basic character into a three-dimensional woman. Ronah is endearing, certainly, but she is not immensely likeable, nor does she go to extreme lengths to enthrall her patients, instead tempting them just enough to remember that what they are experiencing is not inherently real. The film is a firm and affecting portrait of someone desperately trying to figure out who she is, bringing the audience along for the enlightening ride.


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