Ewan McGregor previously worked with director David Mackenzie on the 2003 Young Adam, which featured frank sex, frontal male nudity, and a memorable gross-out scene with pouring paint and the trashing of an apartment. Would you be disappointed to know there's more of the same here? I think not. Perfect Sense might initially appear a parable—like 2008's similar, inferior Blindness, in which the world's population mysteriously loses its sight. That punitive plague was because of our lack of social connection; blindness then brought us closer together, restored community. Here, a Glasgow chef (McGregor) and epidemiologist (former Bond girl Eva Green) are among those afflicted by a mysterious syndrome that begins with the loss of smell. One down, four to go. As the world turns to hell, however, a relationship gradually forms between the cook who can't commit and the doc afraid to love again. Sounds trite, but the film—seen at SIFF last year—maintains an unlikely tone between black comedy and global tragedy. There are no lessons. As if by some Darwinian process of coping, the central duo and their city just keep adapting to diminished faculties. In one funny scene, after taste has gone, the chef's restaurant receives a rave review for the crackly sonic textures of its food. (Bonus: McGregor's old Trainspotting buddy Ewen Bremner has a comic supporting role.)
McGregor's chef contemplates the end of his vocation (with Bremner behind).
Opens Fri., Feb. 17 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown. Not rated. 92 minutes.