Maggie (Marianne Faithful) is desperate. Her grandson is dying, her husband is dead and she needs money so her son can take his sick boy to Australia for radical treatment. In her mid 50s, she is apparently too old to do anything, until she wanders into a seedy Soho club, misunderstanding a ‘Hostess’ job offer and winds up being hired to give relief to men through a glory hole. As the punters line up around the block, her pimp Miki renames her Irina Palm.
While there is some humour in how this premise is handled, the film can’t decide whether it’s a low budget British comedy about the sex industry or a more serious social commentary on the plight of older women. Like Maggie, the film is at once a dowdy housewife and a sex worker, but the latter still wears a floral apron and goes to work with a Thermos. There are some avenues in the film that could have been more thoroughly explored, but Maggie’s relationships with her friends and family are dealt with as quick asides, and the supporting characters aren’t fleshed out. Instead, we’re treated to numerous drawn out shots of Maggie walking along, downtrodden, to a low, ponderous piano score, which becomes increasingly jarring as the film progresses.
GFT, Glasgow, Fri 25–Tue 29 Jul.