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I have only just discovered this place after snubbing it for years, thinking it was akin to Starbucks or Costa Coffee where I was used to overpriced and uninspired food choices. In fact Pret-A-Manger trumps these places as a coffee shop and food-to-go or outlet. As a sit in café it's not quite as ambient or as relaxing as similar big chain outlets, however.
I live near Newcastle and I've visited three Prets in this area (Northumberland Street, Grainger Street and Fenwicks indoors). All of them have quite small indoor seating areas with not many tables available but in a couple of these outlets outdoor seats are available too. Where there is space inside the seats are reasonably comfy and the tables quite roomy. They also have tall stool type seats, often by the windows where it can be easier for one person parties to sit.
I was incredibly surprised the first time I visited Pret as the food selection was so much better than I thought it would be. Firstly, there is a huge range of sandwiches. The varieties are interesting and healthy with an emphasis on ethics and with admirable environmental policies. A soup range is also available. They also have a great fresh or pre-wrapped cake range. I absolutely adore their banana cake with cream cheese topping! They also have snacks of nuts, dried fruits and crisps in addition to things like healthy chocolate bars, rice cakes, fruit and nut granola bars and yoghurts. They now offer dairy free items too.
They even have their own cold drink range which is delicious and as natural as they can make it. Flavours like Hibiscus are really unusual and tasty. The staff at Pret always make me feel welcome and they make a mean cup of coffee. I also am partial to the Pret Hot Chocolate which has a smooth foamy cream top. Delicious!
The reason I keep returning to Pret rather than to other outlets is that I find the food range far superior here than anywhere else that offers similar café meals. I find the prices to be on the expensive side although I'm happy to pay a little extra for better quality food. There is also an eat in or eat out pricing policy which you should notice marked on the price tags in store. I will definitely be returning as I enjoy the type of food available here. I would recommend Pret to people who want a healthier, more interesting option at lunch time.
I recently received this Lush Sultana of Soap as a gift. I like to shop at Lush but had never tried this soap before. When I unwrapped the soap I was quite surprised at it's appearance. It looks a lot like a cheesecake! It's a creamy, porridge coloured soap with chunks of dried fruit decorated on the top. Through the body of the soap there are misshapen pieces of oily soap globules mixed into the milkier body.
The soap actually contains 18 ingredients including rapeseed and coconut oil for softening skin, olibanum oil for "toning and relaxing" and bergamot oil for effective cleansing. The dried fruit in the soap consists of currants and cranberries.
The soap has a beautiful fragrance which is like a fruity milkshake. It has a hint of musky, sandalwood type perfume but also smells quite earthy and natural. I think the fragrance could appeal to both women and men.
Lush state this soap is particularly moisturising and I would agree with this. The soap is exceptionally creamy when added to water. It actually feels like it's comprised with a moisturiser component in a similar way to soap brands like Nivea. The soap feels like it is nourishing my skin and the driest parts of my body drink in the lather. As for the lather, it is not as frothy as other soaps I've used but it still cleans well and the smooth, silky feeling of the melting soap is wonderful.
It's difficult to use this soap with a sponge or bath flower because of the dried fruit aspect. The fruits are supposed to be an exfoliation aspect but really they just fall out of the soap as soon as the bar hits the water. It seems like a real waste to me. I also hate picking up the pieces of currant out of the bath at the end of my bathing session. They look pretty nasty!
I am enjoying the benefits of this soap as my skin feels really good after a bath due to the moisturising qualities of the product. I would therefore recommend this to anyone who has dry skin. It's available in store or online. It's priced quite dearly, however, at £3.40 per 100g of soap. It's nice as a gift or as a personal treat.
I recently bought this Radox Eastern Spirit because it jumped out at me from the supermarket shelf. The colour of the bath foam is a delicious pinky-peach and the lotus and pagoda picture on the front of the bottle is dreamy and beautiful. The product comes in a large 500ml sized recyclable transparent plastic bottle. This is fitted with a screw off top which is easy to open. The bottle has information labels on the front and back. On the front it actually says this is a Limited Edition version and describes the product as a "bath soak...with oriental lotus flower and orange blossom".
The label on the back states that the brand use nature as an inspiration to create their exotic bath soak blends. Using "natural" ingredients the brand have created a product they say will leave you "uplifted". Full ingredients and brand contact information are also printed on the label.
To use this product you must pour it under running water. I've found that the smallest dollop of this works well, creating a blanket of foam and releasing a beautiful scent. The fragrance is enchanting and contains the sharp zest of orange along with the dewy, delicate nectar of the lotus flower. It's a fragrance that makes me feel happy and relaxed. I really want to dive into the bath and close my eyes for a while! The fragrance is very powerful and yet it doesn't overwhelm the senses, it seems to seduce them!
This product creates bubbles or foam and the amount created depends on how much of the liquid you add to the water. I like just a little bit and I'm happy with the silky soft bubbles that come out of just one dollop of liquid. It makes the water feel smooth and luxurious. I haven't noticed that this product has any other benefits such as skin softening but the fragrance does stay on the skin after drying.
I would definitely buy this again as it allows me to enjoy bathing and gives me the opportunity to relax and indulge in my senses. It's such a lovely fragrance, although possibly only suited to female consumers. I would recommend to friends and family.
I have always eaten peanut butter but as I became more older and more health conscious I started to be more discerning about what I was buying. After reading the ingredients of many of the products I was buying I found that a lot of them contained sugar. The Whole Earth brand is one of the few peanut butters in major supermarkets NOT to contain any added sugar and it's primarily this reason that I buy this brand. I also recently decided to try this Organic version of their peanut butter to see if there was any notable difference.
I bought this product as a 340g sized jar. It comes in a recyclable glass jar. The top is easy to screw off and there is a protective foil underneath. The label is printed with product information. The ingredients list is short and sweet. There are 95% roasted peanuts, palm oil and sea salt in this blend. It's approved by the vegetarian society and the soil association for it's organic credentials.
Nutritional information is provided in a handy chart and values are given per 100g. There are 46 grams of fat per 100g and 595 calories. It would be nice to have a breakdown of these numbers into actual serving sizes though.
The peanut butter is quite stiff and thick. It is a crunchy blend so contains shards of peanuts. You can also see the darker skins of the nuts throughout this blend. The peanut pieces are crunchy but also fairly moist and crumbly once you chew on them. The ground peanut paste is soft and ultra creamy. Just because this contains no sugar it doesn't mean it isn't sweet. It actually has it's own natural sweetness and the peanuts have a rich earthy flavour. There is a hint of saltiness in the aftertaste. Overall it's a delicious peanut butter blend and I think that Whole Earth are by far the most superior peanut butter manufacturers. However, I can't discern any real difference in taste in this Organic version from the regular Crunchy product.
I use this product in sandwiches and on toast, on crackers or in cooking. I even just like to eat it straight out of the jar! It keeps well at room temperature and I think it would appeal to kids as well as adults.
I would recommend this product and the brand as I really enjoy this product and it provides a healthy dose of protein and fibre. It's a little more expensive than other peanut butter brands however, but I'm willing to pay the extra for the quality.
I enjoy reading American literature and recently found a copy of this classic novel 'Tender Is The Night' by F.Scott Fitzgerald. The novel tells the story of Dick Diver, a psychoanalyst who marries a young woman called Nicole who also happens to be his psychiatric patient. Later, in the glamorous south of France, the married couple and their established group of friends meet and welcome Rosemary, a very young and beautiful actress who is just starting to branch out on her own. The girl's inherent sense of entitlement and naïve ambition begins to unsettle the Divers and a dramatic tragedy unfolds.
I very much enjoyed reading this novel. I found the writing to be challenging and engaging. The author requires his readers to really sink their souls into this text. As a result I found I read this much more slowly than I usually read fiction but my experience of the writing was enhanced because of this. Fitzgerald revised this novel quite extensively and as I read the book I did feel like a lot of work had gone into trying to make it perfect. As far as I'm concerned not a line seems wasted.
The novel is quite complex in the way it's written and Fitzgerald's voice and style are unique. There are a large number of characters to get to grips in this novel although all of the characters feel so authentic and are fully realised. It is a wonderful thing to delve into the secret psychology of these characters the way Fitzgerald does. It gives the reader a true sense of the human experience. The novel presents a complex view of a historical period too but it also highlighted the gaps of knowledge in my education in this aspect. However, the sense of societal behaviour and the social milieu is still brought to a sharp reality.
I would not say that I particularly liked any of the characters in this novel. However, I simply loved the author's voice and the way he presented his characters - I felt so intimate with these characters at the end of the novel!
I would definitely recommend this book to adult readers. I think teenage readers may struggle to appreciate the complexity of the author's style and may not fully understand the themes of the novel. Having already read 'The Great Gatsby' I am now keen to read more of the author's work.
I recently borrowed this book 'God Is Not Great' by Christopher Hitchens from my library as I thought it sounded interesting and provocative. My personal standing is that I consider myself to be deeply spiritual but I have always had a loathing of organised religions and of the core beliefs all almost all of the most popular religions. However, having been introduced to Christianity as a child and with all of the ideas this religion impresses it is difficult to untangle the ideology of indoctrinated religion with that of atheism. Hitchens calls himself an 'infidel' and states that his brand of atheism is "Protestant atheism" since it was with the King James bible that he first found himself disagreeing. He is clear in his position from the outset, stating in the first chapter that "religion poisons everything".
The book is a vast study of many religions and each chapter sees the author relate his personal experiences where he has learned why religion is a negative aspect of the human experience. Hitchens work is intelligent, far-reaching and educational although I do find his caustic and sometimes angry tone unappealing. As someone who hasn't fully let go of the idea of a mystical God figure I feel like I'm being hit with a sledgehammer when I read some of Hitchen's insults. It's like being told repeatedly that you are an idiot and here's why!
Hitchens discusses the relationship with politics and religion. He also discusses 9/11 from every angle and is damning in his condemnation of all figures who were motivated by religion before and after the horrific events of that day.
There are also some more witty and amusing segments in the book where Hitchens highlights how ridiculous some of the prohibitions of certain religions really are. These include dietary restrictions as well as other tasks and rules that are present in some religions. He then discusses the impact of religion on children in a chapter entitled "Is religion Child Abuse?" in addition to exploring why religions legislate sexual behaviour.
Hitchens leads us through a discussion of the Old and New Testaments as well as the Koran and I found some interesting new and revealing information here. Hitchens finally concludes by calling for a 'new enlightenment' and for reason and rationality to overcome the outdated ideas of religion.
This book is challenging, eye opening and I felt a great relief in reading it because it addresses every concern I have about religion. However, some of Hitchens' comments are glib and he often attacks notions without fully dissecting why they continue to be of importance to the religious man. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone but it may be of particular interest to those who struggle with the notion of their being a God.
I was given this Mac Bronzing Powder as a gift and when I got it I thought I would never use it. This is because I’d used bronzers in the past and always ended up looking a bit overdone and as though I was trying too hard to achieve the just-been-abroad look! However, after sampling the Mac Bronzing Powder I discovered how great it was and have been using it regularly ever since.
The product comes boxed with product and brand information printed on the outside. This includes a full ingredients list and details of the brand’s contact details. The box is also marked with the shade of the bronzer as is the compact case. There are four shades available in the range and I have Golden which is one of the lighter shades.
The powder is a 10g sized pressed, tinted powder that comes in a little black compact. This clicks open to reveal the powder in the bottom half and a helpful little mirror fitted inside the lid. I really like the packaging overall as the compact is lightweight and easy to carry. I also love the mirror as it means I can apply this on the go.
Mac state this product is ideal for “colour effects and highlights”. I find it’s perfect for creating contours around the cheeks. It looks best over a light tan but it also mimics this as well so it can also improve the look of the skin .
My product didn’t come with an applicator so I use my own brush. The powder is quite solid and pressed so it can take a while to load your brush. I find the powder goes on very evenly indeed. It is super soft and smooth in texture and it literally seems to settle in like a second, magic skin. It’s very easy to achieve a great, even finish both quickly and with the minimum of effort.
The powder has a lovely shimmer that makes my skin look healthy and glowing. The Golden shade I have is very complimentary to my natural skin tone. It has fine glitter particles that don’t look too extreme and are still suitable for my older skin. I also love how it makes my skin appear in the best condition.
I’m very impressed with this product. It’s not often I really fall in love with a make-up product but this is a very high quality bronzing powder and I love using it and love all it’s benefits. At GBP21.00 I think it’s priced very dearly but I will stretch to that price once I run out of my current product as I think it’s that good. Highly recommended to any woman who currently uses bronzing powders as I think this is probably the best out there.
I’d like to review two shades from this range of Mac Eye Shadows which I received as part of a goodie gift collection from a relative. The shades I have are in the same pressed powder range but they have different finishes. Prior to this I’d never used this brand of eye shadow.
The eye shadow comes in a 1.5g or .05 US OZ sized pot which is small and lightweight. It is fitted with a transparent lid which clicks open and can be securely closed. My eye shadows also came boxed with a list of full ingredients on this outer packaging as well as contact details for Mac and a label showing the shade and finish.
There is a very extensive range of shades and finishes in the Mac eye shadow line. There are also eight different types of finishes such as ‘Matte’ or ‘Frost’ so you can really find every colour and effect you could possibly want!
My first eye shadow is the colour Cork in a Satin finish. This is a golden biscuit brown colour which has the effect of looking silky smooth and creamy. I really like the shade as it’s suitable for all occasions. It’s also good for contouring. The eye shadow can be applied really easily either with applicator or finger and it’s easy to apply this evenly because of the fine quality of the powder.
The second shade is Da Bling in the finish ‘Veluxe Pearl’. This is a light pink with a golden pearl shimmer effect. It’s a lovely shade for brightening the eyelids and opening up the eyes. It’s also a good shade in the neutral range though as it’s not overpoweringly bright or too light reflective. Once again this is super easy to apply.
Both eye shadows I have are long lasting. I have also used the loose powder Pigment eye shadow from Mac and was disappointed in it’s lack of staying power but these pressed powders are much more adhesive to the skin.
At GBP13.00 per eye shadow these are very pricey but they do award a beautiful look which looks professional and high quality. I would recommend to any girl or lady who loves experimenting with make-up and who wants to find the best eye shadows out there.
I was given this Mac Pigment eye shadow as a present by a family member. My product is packaged in a black box with an open front so you can see the shade of the product easily. The box has some product information printed on it such as a full list of ingredients, contact information for the brand and the shade of the eye shadow which in this case is ‘Tan’. There is a huge range of colours in this product and ‘Tan’ is a gorgeous toasted, coppery brown which shimmers silver in the light.
The item comes in a large plastic pot which contains 4.5g or 0.15 US Oz of loose powder eye shadow. The tub has a sponge rubber top which clicks once to open and close it after twisting it. Beneath this the tubs are fitted with a plastic shield over the top of the tub to contain the powder. The shield has a little plastic tab which sticks up so you can pull it off. I recommend keeping the plastic shield in place as this product can get really, really messy!
The powder is silky soft and adheres to a finger or applicator well during application. I tend to use my finger as one dip and a swipe over your eyelid and that’s it done. It’s super easy to apply as the powder is so smooth. It does transfer onto the skin of the eyelid with ease but obviously if you do use a finger to apply a lot of product stays on the fingertip too! The powder isn’t patchy and there is no need to work on areas for an even coverage as it goes on perfectly with a simple swash over the eye.
The visual effect of this eye shadow is amazing. This particular shade is very flattering on slightly tanned skin and really highlights the eyes in a dramatic and beautiful way. I have noticed though that this eye powder does tend to come off quite easily. It doesn’t have much staying power. Touching the eye area even just a little bit can cause the powder to be wiped off as far as to the extent that it looks like I‘m wearing no eye make-up at all!
Overall I really love the actual effect and visual appearance of the Pigment eye shadow but the product is quite messy to deal with and it is very easily accidentally wiped off the skin. I would recommend to younger women and teens who like to play with colours and effects in eye make-up. However, I don’t think I will buy this in the future because at GBP17.00 it doesn’t give me a lasting look.
I received this Mac Mineralize SkinFinish Natural as a gift recently. It is a face powder which is enriched with a mineral formula to provide a light and natural cover.
My product is packaged in a black cardboard box with full ingredients and company contact details printed on the back. There is a range of shades for this product and I have ‘Light Plus’ which is the colour “pale golden beige” and is one of the lightest colours available. It has a golden sheen to it which looks like it might be too dramatic but which is more translucent once on the skin.
The powder is a pressed powder and mine came with no applicator brush. It comes in a little round compact case. The top of the case is transparent so you can see how much product is left. The lid clicks into the base but I have found that it is not that secure a fit and my lid slips back open if I carry it in my handbag.
The powder is easy to pick up on a brush. The top of the powder is indented so you tend to pick up just how much you need. It is then easily transferred to the skin and adheres to the surface immediately. It is so easy to apply without needing to work a lot on getting even and full coverage. It just goes on effortlessly.
The powder gives a beautiful and natural looking finish. I love that it doesn’t make me look too overdone but instead awards a natural look whilst allowing me to cleverly conceal any blemishes and discoloration on my face and neck. It has a lovely healthy glow to it that does not look like make-up shimmer but rather more simply gives the impression of healthy, glowing skin. It’s the perfect face powder for me, basically. It doesn’t ever look too thick and it never looks powdery on the skin but it still covers shine and discoloration so well.
This is a rather expensive product at GBP23.00 for a 10g or 0.35 US OZ sized compact. I would, however, recommend investing in one of these if you need a very fine, sophisticated look for work or for a big event. I would definitely consider buying this again as I love it.
A family member gave me some of this Mac Mineralize Concealer recently as a gift. It came in a small back box with some product information on the outer packaging including full ingredients and contact information. The shade is printed on a sticker on the end of the box and I have N20 which is a warm but still a fairly light shade in the whole range.
The product I have is a 5ml or 0.17Fl. Oz sized bottle. The little bottle itself is transparent plastic and the top has a large rubber screw off lid. The whole thing measures 3 ½ inches so it’s small enough to carry in a purse. The applicator inside is a small, precise soft bristle bush. I find the brush very easy to direct onto the skin. The applicator lid is actually a strange soft rubber material which can feel spongy to hold though.
Mac state this product contains “minerals and botanicals” which are meant to be nourishing and beneficial to the skin. They state that this will provide medium coverage with a “natural luminous finish”.
The product is very creamy and rich and feels really soft when you blend it into your skin with a finger. I find the product is easy to blend in and once it has settled in has this sort of invisible second skin appearance. It manages to conceal without looking like a concealer! It’s a very clever product! I’ve found that less is definitely more with this product as a little smudge of this can cover a wide area of skin. The product is brilliant at concealing any redness, prominent veins or eye circles.
This product is fairly pricey at GBP17.00 and at first I wasn’t convinced it would be better than my much cheaper concealer. I therefore actually tested the two side by side - using the Mac on one side of my face and my cheap product on the other. The difference was incredible. This Mac concealer looked so much more natural and healthy. It also gave me much better coverage in general and evened out areas where there was any discoloration or blemishes. I can therefore attest that paying more in this case is actually worth it.
The concealer feels light and breathable on the skin and it is easy to remove at the end of the day with make-up remover and facial wash. I am certainly impressed by this product and would love to keep on buying it as long as I can afford to! I would definitely recommend this product if you have troublesome skin which needs a really good cover up or if you have a big occasion coming up like a wedding. I don’t know if there is a better concealer out there, to be honest!
I have wavy hair and I recently started straightening it more often to achieve a more sophisticated look. A friend recommended that I try this Schwarzkopf Got2Be Guardian Angel Blow Dry and Flat Iron Spray for optimum results. I bought this from Boots for GBP4.07 which is a bit less than I usually pay for the same sort of product so I feel this is good value and priced about average for the market.
The product comes in a trendy, curved black 200ml sized bottle. It has a non-aerosol style pump button on top. There is lots of information on the label including directions for use, full ingredients and more about the product's benefits.
The spray can be sprayed into hair prior to blow-drying, straightening or tonging and will provide heat protection up to 220 degrees. The brand state that as well as protection the spray awards shine to the hair.
The product is very watery and has hardly any fragrance at all which is refreshing for these types of product. It smells mildly of apples when wet and has virtually no aroma on the hair once the hair is dry. The product is also not at all sticky and therefore is easy to work into the hair.
I use this with straightening irons and I find that it very quickly evaporates on the hair during use and allows my hair to straighten very quickly. It doesn't sizzle or burn and once I've finished my hair is unbelievably light and easy to manage. It's as though I don't have any product on my hair and yet my hair is well styled. I would say that the product awards a mild shine only though. It certainly doesn't give my dry hair a high gloss finish but it does produce a mild sheen which somewhat improves the general appearance of the hair, making it look healthier and more youthful. However, I still tend to use other products like serum to enhance the shine of my hair after using this spray. After using this spray regularly I can confirm the condition of my hair is okay and is not further damaged by using heated appliances. I therefore feel the spray is doing it's work in providing adequate protection for my hair during heat styling.
I would certainly buy this again as I feel it is an essential part of my hair styling when using straighteners and I am pleased with it's qualities and how it performs. It is available at shops such as Boots and Superdrug.
I started wearing lip balm in my teens and have used it ever since, becoming something of an addict. I recently saw this Maybelline Baby Lips on sale and decided to try it as it was something new. I confess when I first saw the packaging design I thought this was a product aimed at children. I was also a bit concerned about carrying a product around with the phrase ‘Baby Lips’ scrawled over it when I’m in my thirties. However, I bought the balm anyway.
The product comes as a stick lip balm in a plastic lipstick type tube with a twisting base which pushes the lip balm up out of the inner case. The plastic case is emblazoned with the product name and the gaudy colour and childish font style it does make it look like it is aimed at younger consumers. The case has a secure top which clicks back into place and which slips open easily too. The product I have is actually part of a range of tinted lip balms available in 6 different varieties. I have the style ‘Hydrate’ which comes in a bright blue plastic case and is actually a neutral, clear balm so it‘s natural looking and provides gloss and moisture rather than colour. The balm looks like a glue stick but does not award a cloudy effect once on the lips. The balm is super easy to apply since it seems to melt on impact with the lips. It gives a thin but lasting coverage. The product stays put but feels light. It has a mild, pleasant fragrance that reminds me of cherry or melon. It also provides SPF protection.
The brand claim this product keeps lips moisturised for 8 hours and state that testers of the product agreed the condition of their lips improved with regular use. I would agree that the product is long lasting and improves lip condition, making the skin less flaky and dry. I also like the way the balm looks - it's natural looking and doesn't look too wet or thick.
I am really happy with my purchase and would recommend this to any female who uses lip balms regularly. It's price of GBP2.99 is really good value and priced competitively. I would definitely buy this again.
Film Only Review:
This 2012 release movie really surprised me as I chose to watch it after seeing a promotional trailer which was a bit misleading in how it chooses to portray this material. I was expecting something mainstream and tailored to the Oscar crowd but instead what I find is a strange, dark and dirty independent that surely only appeals to a small percentage of movie aficionados.
The movie stars a host of big names and was of particular interest because of Zach Efron's participation. This is definitely a huge leap away from his clean cut High School Muscial image and it really showcases Efron's skills as an adult actor. Joining him are Nicole Kidman in a surprising role as a sex-crazed, dopey blonde. I do get the sense that she might have been attempting to show off her range here and she really seems to sink her teeth into the part although I do feel like I can see the cogwheels of an actress at work during much of the film. John Cusack takes on another dark role as a prisoner and is almost unrecognisable from his heart-throb leading man days. David Oyelowo is the most impressive of the cast and gives a natural, authentic and full-bodied performance. He is definitely a talent to watch out for in any future projects. Matthew McConaughey also acts well although the portrayal of his character feels similar to some of his other recent performances.
The movie surprised me because it is very racy and gritty and not at all what I expected it to be. There is a lot of weird, off-putting, hard-core sexual scenes in this movie and lots of sexual innuendo that makes the DVD certification of 15 seem far too low an age limit. I personally find some of the sexual acts in the film to be repulsive, creepy and depressing rather than interesting, amusing or exciting.
I also think the storyline begins to degrade in quality about halfway through the movie. It's as though the movie changes from something that starts out quite clever and unique to something that is incoherent, unrealistic and pointless. I was very disappointed by the ending and it is impossible to care about any of the characters after a certain point.
Although this movie features a stellar cast list it's not something that could be enjoyed by everyone. In fact it's more likely to appeal to a very small percentage of movie fans and even fans of the actors involved may find this film tough to watch. The DVD is available on Amazon UK and is currently priced at GBP6.50.
I bought this DVD because I am a fan of one of the actors in the cast. The Canadian film was released in the UK with my Region 0 DVD carrying a 2003 release date. The DVD is certificate 18 and there is are scenes of sexual violence and strong language.
The film stars Molly Parker as a downbeat motel receptionist called Leila who falls into a world of prostitution after being propositioned by a client. She begins to entertain a variety of men until finally meeting one guest (Callum Keith Rennie) with whom she embarks on a more intimate affair. However, soon after entering into the relationship she realises that she is in very dangerous territory with this man.
I find this film very difficult to watch since it's content is quite disturbing. The level of sexual violence and general sexual content is high and it's simply unpleasant to see. There is nothing kinky or racy about the type of sexual violence in this movie. Alongside this graphic depiction of an abused prostitute is a very artful depiction of this woman's inner being though. It's a huge contrast and it's presented in a very clever and moving way. It really reminds the audience that we need to see this woman as her complete self and not just as a dirtied, sexual being. It also challenges audiences to think and to dream since the presentation of Leila's mindset and her spirit is somewhat abstract.
Molly Parker's performance is excellent as is Callum Keith Rennie's. Both leads were nominated for Leo Awards for their acting with Rennie coming away with the win. To be perfectly frank though, a lot of the film involves long sex scenes,violent scenes and rape scenes rather than scenes with any actual dialogue. Parker's interactions with a displaced child who hangs around the motel are perhaps the best and most emotionally satisfying scenes. Rennie's brutal bad guy leaves a bad taste in the mouth and feels very authentic.
This movie has that 'independent' feel to it and is typically Canadian in presentation. I am certain that not everybody would enjoy this given the extreme content but if you like Molly Parker or Callum Keith Rennie then it's worth a watch. I'd have to describe this as a dark, violent, depressing movie and warn once again that it contains a lot of sexual brutality and repression of females.
The DVD contains a 4 page booklet with an interview with the director.It also has scene selection, a promo of the movie, is 16:9 widescreen and is 89 minutes in length. This DVD is available at Amazon for around £4.