‘Picture of Beauty’ Review

By Michelle at Letterboxd (20/11/2018)


“It looks like an episode of Wishbone, features multiple extended sequences where naked people splash each other with water, and has a pre-1900 brothel madame request a “sexy and hot” painting, but somehow it’s quite charming rather than boring and embarrassing. Yes, the actors are all rank amateurs, speaking haltingly in what is clearly not their native language (beside the few who are just allowed to speak Polish with no subtitles because I guess they couldn’t be bothered); yes, there’s a sex scene (with full penetration mind you) that features a repeated cut back to a deer’s head mounted on the wall; yes, it has an entirely throwaway line about whether BDSM is feminist that goes nowhere and gives the viewer tonal whiplash. But yet! It manages to be often beautiful in spite of its PBS-level cinematography, more than a bit knowing of its own preposterousness, and entirely winning. Manages to maintain an air of joyous eroticism, even when it’s not erotic, never slipping into much of softcore porn’s defining the prurient mood. Maybe watching beautiful women joyfully dance naked with their friends is what cinema was invented for.”


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