A Soap | Chicago Reader

A Soap

Danish director Pernille Fischer Christensen's claustrophobic debut feature unfolds within a single apartment house. The focus is on an evolving relationship between two apparently incompatible neighbors: a repressed, pre-op transsexual (male-to-female) loner who spends her days watching TV soaps and a no-nonsense beauty salon owner who just left her lover and is enjoying a series of one-nighters. At intervals a smarmy male voice-over introduces black-and-white recaps and flash-forwards of the film's story line as Dogma-influenced femme director Christensen wryly uses soap opera conventions to wallow in the genre's hyperemotional intensity while disavowing its cliches. The gender-confused nature of the protagonists' attraction affords some much needed, un-Dogmatic relief from Christensen's deliberately drab deconstruction of melodrama. In Danish with subtitles. 104 minutes.

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