Irina Palm | Chicago Reader

Irina Palm

A prim and dumpy London widow (Marianne Faithfull), determined to send her dying grandson to Australia for a last-ditch medical treatment, hires on at an Oxford Circus strip club, where she earns a handsome salary giving anonymous hand jobs to men who present their peckers through a hole in the wall. “They can't be serious,” I kept muttering as this 2007 British feature unfolded, and once I concluded they weren't, I quite enjoyed it. After all, the dopey premise only takes to a gross extreme the Full Monty formula that the Brits have been milking for more than a decade. This would never have worked with anyone else but Faithfull, who gives a touching performance even as she flaunts her 40-year metamorphosis from porcelain pop diva to elderly bad girl. Sam Garbarski directed. R, 103 min.

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