Zoe Peterson (Sharon Hinnendael) and Mal Ford (Jill Evyn) met while working on a movie. In the movie, both play lesbian girls, that have a very torrid love affair, and shoot together very ardent and passionate love scenes in the bed. Nonetheless, both women are actually lesbians, and fall in love for each other while shooting their love scenes for the film. After the movie is finished, they begin a love affair, that abruptly ends after a few months, when Mal dumps Zoe for no apparent reason. Several months later, both are called again to do a reshoot of the love scene, and both actresses find very hard to endure the ordeal to meet each other again, after their horrendous breakup.
To deal with the situation, they have the movie director, Kara Voss (Marina Rice Bader) committed to help them, doing her best, trying to hold on the emotional turmoil that slowly begins to develop in the movie set. When soon became obvious that their meeting will be a very difficult one, Kara enlists the help of her assistant, Anne (Constance Brenneman), another very emotional woman, that tries to do everything in her power to deal with the situation in the best way possible. Kara even arranges for Zoe to have her own space on set, so she can deal with this stressful situation in an easy way.
Despite the best efforts set up by Kara and Anne, Zoe and Mal discussions just get worse, and the two women seems incapable to forgive or understand each other. When they finally go to bed, and the shooting gives sign that may finally happen, both women, doing their best to appease themselves, and achieve a peaceful atmosphere of serenity for the sake of the movie, after a calm and easy interaction – that finally provides at least one good scene – had another severe falling out, and for a moment, everything seems definitely ruined.
As the discussion between them progresses, we learn that Mal was a recovering addict when both women had a relationship. Insecure and afraid that Zoe could leave her, Mal broke up with Zoe before Zoe had the chance to break up with her. Resented and heartbroken, Zoe underwent a very difficult period on her life after the relationship ended, and now she finds hard to forgive Mal for what she had done. Acting as mediators, and trying to be bridges that communicate feelings of comprehension and reconciliation between the women, Kara and Anne do everything they can to provide for Zoe and Mal the possibility to achieve a platform of mutual understanding, which proves something very hard to realize.
After so much difficult and antagonistic situations, and seeing no better prospects for the trouble in question, Kara finally confesses to Zoe, Mal and Anne that a reshooting of the love scene was not necessary at all. She arranged the situation all by herself, in order to reunite Zoe and Mal, to finally give both women a chance to reconcile, heal their love and come back to each other. Shocked upon hearing this, the three women becomes deeply disturbed, and Zoe and Mal leave the set in their separate ways, both very distressed and deeply resented. Terrified by the revelation, Anne uses the moment to disclose all of her personal anxieties to Kara. As Kara listens to all of Anne’s afflictions, she comforts her by saying how much she is necessary and meaningful, and how deeply she appreciates everything Anne does. When all of her worries are finally relieved, Anne smiles, and kisses Kara in the mouth, upon which we learn that both Kara and Anne are probably undergoing a very similar situation to Zoe and Mal, although without going to severe detrimental extremes.
As the movie approaches the end, we see Mal coming up for Zoe, after seeing her seated in a street, next to a car. Both women look deeply at each other’s eyes, and suddenly, instead of the movie finishing with the typical “The End”, appears the sentence “The Beginning” onscreen, and subsequent scenes shows that both women have reconciled, and gave to each other another chance for their relationship. And from this point on, both women do very naturally in their real life the love scenes they had found difficult to follow for the reshoot procedure of the movie.
Well, this movie is a very unconventional one, in almost every way possible. The entire film revolves around a movie set, with two women – the director and her assistant – trying to resolve the drama that involves the two main actresses. Surprisingly, the movie has a real and very expansive life of its own. With the obvious potential to be a boring movie, the drama and the intensity brought on to the screen with the great acting of the four main actresses is a very enthusiastic one, and the drama energy created by the characters of Zoe Peterson and Mal Ford resulted in great remarkable performances, with the incredible potential to hold your attention for the whole movie. Despite all performances being astonishingly great, deeply artistic and superbly well driven, the character of Zoe Peterson, played by Sharon Hinnendael, outshines herself over the others. Zoe, being hurt by Mal with the breakup of the relationship, carry on her eyes all the painful drama that outstands and reverberates her grief for being rejected, and, as a result, Sharon Hinnendael gives a very convincing performance as a woman severely hurt by an insecure partner. Her eyes are drowning in grief all the time, even when she tries not to appear sad, and her profound, yet smooth facial expressions easily shows the tragedy of a heart broken as well as the sensitive nature of sorrow and disappointment in the human heart. Her subtle facial expressions create amazing dramatic devices even in soft moments, as she is able to drive her character’s presence throughout the hardest scenes of the movie only with her indefinite exhilarating eyes. Nonetheless, all the four main actresses are a great team that drives by the force of their acting abilities a simple, but well designed and perfectly arranged drama, whose final result impersonates a story brilliantly conceived, and amazingly told, settled in the very uneventful journey of the scars of unresolved love.
On the other hand, the direction, although it is not brilliant, it is also surprisingly well driven. One of the greatest pleasures of the movie is seeing the director (Marina Rice Bader) playing a director in her own movie! Despite the amazing performances, the good direction, and the fact that the movie is short (only 80 minutes long, which makes the story goes direct to the point), sometimes you get tired of being in a movie set all the way through. With very little exceptions, an entire movie set indoors is a little upsetting, and sometimes you feel the plot not going anywhere, as you get the impression that the movie is sometimes motionless, and lacking cinematic dynamic. The final plot device – the fact that Kara, the director, arranged the reshoot just as an excuse to give the women an opportunity of reconciliation, and a chance for them to go back to each other – also seems a little exaggerated, pushing too hard the boundaries of an acceptable and realistic plotline.
Nonetheless, Anatomy of a Love Seen is a very good movie, that will hardly disappoint or dissatisfy its audience. Surprisingly well driven, filled with the sentimental bridges that extracts humanity from the characters, as well as the audience, in all of their senses, and identifying all the potential sensibilities that build human interactions, while also analyzing the stronger values of love itself, this interesting film manages to be above the average score of the genre, for a movie in this category, and certainly deserves three and half stars for its outstanding final result.