Sayles is spokesman for his generation, the babies of the post-war boom who made love and fought their wars within themselves. Their growing pains came late: Lianna (Griffiths) is thirty, married and the mother of two, when she falls in love with Ruth (Hallaren), her night-school teacher. Sayles sympathetically maps the hurricane-like effects of this on Lianna's life - thrown out by her philandering husband, cold-shouldered by her straight friends, stormy scenes with her lover - his sparkling dialogue illuminating every aspect of Lianna's sexuality with a zeal that is almost proselytising. The love scenes are infused with a tender erotic glow that deepens the shadows around the titillation of Personal Best, and the comedy in Lianna's post-coital glee as she cruises other women and announces herself as gay to people in launderettes is irresistible. A gem, rough-hewn by Sayles and polished to perfection in peerless performances.
Cast and crew
Jessica Wight MacDonald