Eve (Swinton) is a woman in total control. Designer clothes, high-powered career and the trousers in her relationships - but she is forced to question her priorities when her sister gets in trouble
Watching women forcing themselves into gender stereotypes is one of the greatest of all perversions, according to the novel on which this study of ongoing female conformity is based. Despite her affluent lifestyle, top LA lawyer Eve Stephens (Swinton) has more neuroses about her image than you can shake the proverbial stick at. She's successful, therefore she must keep up with the latest fashions and be seen to wear the trousers in her relationships. When she calls on all her reserves of personal confidence, anxieties about her appearance and way of life take over, with abusive inner voices and threatening dreams.
Looking for ways to regain power Eve initiates an affair with a neighbouring psychiatrist (Sillas) and goes on a mercy mission to her newly imprisoned kleptomaniac sister (Madigan). Here, Eve reassesses her interpretation of control and woman's place in society through cathartic confrontations with her sister.
In her US debut Swinton again proves she's a fascinating actress to watch. But while her performance and those of her co-stars are exemplary, and the issues raised poignant and relevant to today's woman, as a whole Female Perversions only provides a bewildering collection of beautifully photographed images and thought-provoking set pieces.
Struggling to find its feet after a confusing opening dream sequence, this emphatically arthouse flick may set the questions as to the necessity of the latest Chanel lipstick and designer togs, but has trouble providing a seamless and comprehensive vehicle in which to pursue the answers.