Informant Media, Forthcoming Productions, Beachfront Films,
Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett, Ashley Jensen, Sheridan Smith, Gemma Jones
Dr. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) is a young doctor looking to setup a practice and make a name for himself in the Victorian Era. He meets Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce) who is a respected expert on a female problem thought to be a condition of the uterus. Dr. Dalrymple has developed a special pelvic massage treatment that is very popular with the ladies. But as he turns most of his patients over to young Dr Granville, the poor fellow develops carpal tunnel syndrome from all the manual stimulation required. Meanwhile, Dr. Dalrymple has two daughters, one who is a wild and free spirit who runs a clinic for the poor, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, and the other a quiet and shy stay at home daughter who is the apple of her father’s eye. Both daughters take a liking to Dr. Granville. To save his poor aching fingers, Dr. Granville and his friend turn a failed experiment into a medical device that certainly changed the world. This film is based upon a true story, but with a lot of poetic license taken.
There are people who loved this film, and those that hated it. I found myself leaning towards the second group. I sometimes enjoy (especially late at night when I’m trying to fall asleep) watching the Science channel’s show “How It’s Made” It’s interesting to see how things are created, whether it’s a Boeing 747 or a paper clip. But this is something I really didn’t care about how it was developed, or why. It is a weird film, and truly the relationship between the early feminist played by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dr. Granville is the most interesting, and perhaps only interesting parts of the film. Maggie nails her role, and is the best thing in the film for sure. But the long lines of elderly ladies waiting in line for their turn to be “treated” is downright disturbing, more than interesting. There are funny moments, and some romance, but mostly the story lacked any real purpose, and it’s like taking a 3 page short story and trying to expand it into a feature film. Occasionally it works (“Polar Express”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Where the Wild Things Are”) but most of the time it leaves us wondering “Where’s the beef?” But in this case, I think we’d rather not now. I’d say skip this one unless you have a really morbid curiosity about the subject matter. I doubt you’re going to like this one.
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