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Touchy Feely

In this observational ensemble comedy from US indie filmmaker Lynn Shelton, we meet a massage therapist (Rosemarie DeWitt) with a fear of touching others. This fable also gives us a cycle-shop owner (Scoot McNairy) who attributes the success of a tofu dish to using ‘like, a really special olive oil’. Meanwhile the therapist’s straitlaced brother (Josh Pais) develops a healing touch that revives his flagging dentistry practice. New Age types will take offence. Sceptics will roll their eyes.

As in her paradoxically looser but sharper ‘Humpday’ (2009) and ‘Your Sister’s Sister’ (2011), writer-director Shelton has a gift for making actors feel at ease: Allison Janney’s widowed Reiki practitioner is as warm and soothing as a worn flannel shirt, and even Ellen Page, as the dentist’s anxious daughter, lets her hair down a bit. But when Shelton lines up her characters to confront their fears of intimacy, the hippy-dippy vibe clashes with a clunky script.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday May 16 2014
Duration: 84 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Allison Janney
Scoot McNairy
Rosemarie DeWitt
Ellen Page
Ron Livingston
Josh Pais
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