Picks and Pans Review: The Five Senses

UPDATED 07/24/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/24/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

Mary-Louise Parker, Gabrielle Rose, Daniel Maclvor, Philippe Volter

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Quick, name your five senses: hearing, taste, touch, smell and sight. We would be lost without them, as are the five major characters (all residents of a Toronto apartment building) in this polished ensemble drama.

There's a pastry chef (Parker) who makes cakes that look mouthwatering but taste like Styrofoam. Her best friend (MacIvor) is a bisexual housecleaner who swears he can smell it when someone really loves him. An eye doctor (Volter) is losing his hearing, a masseuse has lost touch with her teenage daughter, and the daughter in turn is observing life rather than living it. All of them are desperately trying to make a connection with another human being.

The Five Senses, meticulously directed by Jeremy Podeswa (Eclipse), is a carefully observed, meditative film that can be savored for its refined storytelling and the resourceful acting of its talented cast. Which is a polite way of saying it's praiseworthy but slow. (R)

Bottom Line: High five

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