Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: Middle-aged Maggie must find a way to get enough money for her grandson’s lifesaving medical treatment. With all financial resources exhausted, Maggie tries her best to lift the dwindling hopes of her only son Tom and his wife Sarah. When a “Hostess Wanted” sign catches her eye, Maggie naively stumbles into a city sex club. The true job description is quite a surprise for the respectable, middle-class widow, even if she isn’t a prude. But unskilled Maggie accepts this as her fastest way to urgently needed cash and her very last option, having already sold her own home to pay for little Olly’s hospital bills.
    Shy Maggie has a rough start at “Sexy World,” more than just a train ride from her conservative suburb. Wisecracking colleague Luisa shows her the ropes and the two women strike a touching friendship. Tough guy owner Miki, a real ladies’ man, reveals a soft spot for dutiful Maggie, and transforms her into the much-in-demand and lucrative “Irina Palm.” Maggie courageously proves to herself that she’s not so old and useless after all. (Strand Releasing)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Faithfull is marvelous: Once notorious for her own escapades, this great-great-niece of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch is no shrinking violet, but she's perfect as a plump, frumpy widow with a huge heart and a hidden talent no one would ever suspect.
  2. Sam Garbarski's use of slow-motion shots is pretentious, and he paces the film too slowly. But he captures the seedy side of London, giving you a feel for Soho during the day when sunshine exposes a cheap gaudiness.
  3. Marianne Faithfull is unforgettable as a middle-class, middle-aged frump …in Sam Garbarski's crowd-pleasing comedy-drama Irina Palm.
  4. 60
    Irina Palm is, for the most part, a phony trifle, but at its heart, somehow, is a real and fascinating person.
  5. 50
    Doesn't deliver on a lot of fronts. But then again it gives us full-on Faithfull, who manages to bare herself completely without ever actually getting undressed.
  6. 50
    Mixed messages are the order of the day in the conflicted British drama Irina Palm. At first blush, it seems like another entry in the saucy-but-safe Brit genre, a la "Calendar Girls," "Saving Grace" or "The Full Monty," but it turns out to be both more ambitious and less successful than those diversions.
  7. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    Nobody can reduce tawdry material to doddering quaintness like the British, but this staggeringly inane joint effort of U.K., Belgian, French, German, and Luxembourgian film financing represents a true coalition of the witless.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

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