Irina Palm

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Irina Palm
Irinapalmposter.JPG
Movie poster
Directed by Sam Garbarski
Produced by Sébastien Delloye
Diana Elbaum
Georges van Brueghel
Written by Martin Herron
Philippe Blasband
Sam Garbarski
Starring Marianne Faithfull
Miki Manojlović
Kevin Bishop
Music by Ghinzu
Distributed by Strand Releasing (US)
Release date(s) 13 February 2007 (Premiere in Berlin)
Running time 103 minutes
Language English

Irina Palm (2007) is a tragicomedy film starring Marianne Faithfull and Miki Manojlović. It is a co-production of five countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Germany and France). The film premiered at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival. The film has earned over US $10 million worldwide.

Plot[edit]

The 50-year-old widow Maggie (Marianne Faithfull) desperately needs money for the cost of traveling to Australia for a special medical treatment of her beloved ill grandson Olly. After several unsuccessful attempts to get a job, she finds herself in the streets of Soho. Her eye is caught by poster in the window of a shop called Sexy World: "Hostess wanted." She enters, and Miki (Miki Manojlović), the owner of the shop, explains to her frankly that "hostess" is a euphemism for "whore." The job he has for her is one for which age and being visually attractive are not important: a male customer inserts his penis in a hole in a wall (glory hole), and she, at the other side, gives a handjob (however, the film does not show any penis). Her colleague, Luisa, shows her how to do it, and after the first hesitation, she quickly develops good skills. However, she keeps her work secret from friends and family, which leads to uncomfortable situations. After a while, she tells some friends. They are quite interested and ask various details.

Under the pseudonym Irina Palm, she becomes increasingly more successful and well-paid, 600 to 800 pounds a week. However, the health of her grandson deteriorates quickly, therefore she asks and receives an advance payment of 6000 pounds for 10 weeks of work. She gives the money to her son Tom (Kevin Bishop) without telling how she got it. He follows her to learn about the source of the money, and is furious when he discovers what she does. He wants her to never go there again and says he will himself return the money and not go to Australia. However, his wife, Sarah, is thankful to Maggie for her sacrifice to save the boy. Tom and Maggie reconcile and Tom, Sarah, and Olly go to Australia.

Luisa is fired due to Maggie's success. She is very angry at Maggie. A competitor of Miki's offers Maggie a better job, as supervisor of prostitutes in a room with multiple glory holes. She would get 15% of their earnings. She hesitates but eventually declines the offer; becoming a "madam" is a step too far for her. Maggie and Miki eventually fall in love with each other.

When Maggie is walking on Shaftesbury Avenue, the poster of the acclaimed play "The Night of the Iguana", staged at the Lyric Theatre in 2006, is clearly visible.

Cast[edit]

Sam Garbarski, Marianne Faithfull, Miki Manojlović and Kevin Bishop at the premiere of Irina Palm

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]