Review: Brilliantlove (2010)

Originally titled The Orgasm Diaries, Brilliantlove is an indie sex drama about the steamy relationship of amateur photographer, Manchester (Liam Browne), and a young taxidermist, Noon (Nancy Trotter Landry).

When a successful dealer, Franny (Michael Hodgson), discovers Manchester’s portfolio, he thrusts his work onto the art world. Manchester’s consequential success destroys the beauty of the couples once idyllic romance.

Brilliantlove starts off as an explicit, atmospheric and titillating art parody, presenting Manchester and Noon either having sex or blatantly thinking about doing it. demonstrating a realistic environment in which the pure expression of love overcomes everyday concerns.

Ashley Horner’s simplistic and naturalistic direction perfectly illustrates the sexual, enchanting environment Manchester and Noon have concocted, in which the pure expression of love – particularly sexual desire and fornication – vanquishes everyday worries.

The two leads – Manchester and Noon – are well portrayed by Browne and Landry, bringing a likeability and naturalistic aura to the film, particularly in the non-sex scenes where they are able to explore their individual personalities and illicit relationship.

The problem comes in the second half when the film, scripted by Sean Conway, tries to explore deeper thematic possibilities, in this case the plot concerning Franny’s exploitation of Noon’s beauty. This breaks the realism that has been carefully constructed, damaging the initially strong premise.

Instead of building upon the premise, and maintaining its illusive charm, the film and its characters struggles outside the comfortabilty of the couples enclosed environment, unfortunately forcing the film to conclude in a predictably drab and unconvincing fashion.

Brilliantlove is an alluring, ethereal and tastefully directed, yet clumsily developed, study into sex, relationships and the irony of art.

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