Yes

"Joan Allen's central performance is sensuous, chameleonic, lit up with beauty inside and out." — Geoff Brown, The Times
Director: Sally Potter
Year: 2004
Country: UK
Running time: 95 mins
UK

Screenplay/Music: Sally Potter
Photography: Alexei Rodionov
Editor: Daniel Goddard
R16 offensive language

With: Joan Allen, Simon Abkarian, Sam Neill, Shirley Henderson, Sheila Hancock, Samantha Bond

Festivals: Toronto, London 2004; Berlin, Sydney 2005
Ravishing the eye and the ear, funny, political and ebulliently literate, Sally Potter’s Yes is easily her best film since Orlando. The always-fascinating Joan Allen is as fine as she’s ever been as a molecular scientist living in ritualised disenchantment with her British politician husband (Sam Neill, also perfect). Simon Abkarian plays the Lebanese waiter whose courtly flirtation with Allen at a banquet blossoms into an affair. Yes exalts in the erotic adventure of crossing class and culture, and critiques it at the same time, with expert assistance from Shirley Henderson who, as Allen’s cleaner, provides sly and priceless commentary. “None of Potter's previous formidable accomplishments quite prepare you for the extraordinarily intricate splendours of Yes, easily her masterpiece to date. The central action, set in contemporary London, involves a successful scientist locked in a passionless marriage, and conducting an intensely sexual affair… But this sturdy dramatic situation is only the beginning. Potter…departs freely from plot, creating a series of brilliantly choreographed poetic meditations on such topics as life at the cellular level, the metaphysics of dirt and the invisibility of those responsible for cleaning it up, the ever-deepening violence between the Muslim world and the West, and the eternal dance of antagonism and desire between the male and female. And don't think the term poetic is being used lightly. All of the dialogue and interior monologue is written and performed in superb Audenesque rhyming verse. Potter's astonishing mixture of heady intellectual speculation and gut-wrenching erotic passion gives us the first authentic movie-heroine for 21st-century cinema.” — Larry Gross, Telluride Film Festival