“A Perfect Ending”, is the real deal: wonderfully written, exquisitely acted, perfectly cast and brilliantly directed; full of delicious surprises without ever losing the steady, warm and very much alive heartbeat that invites you into an intimacy many viewers will have never seen before quite this up-close and personal or portrayed with so much class and style. When I describe this film as highly artistic and sophisticated in its interpretation, I don’t mean to take away from the raw, honest passion and palpable sensuality that drives the unfolding of this story as those components coexist and intertwine. A number of very realistic subplots, supported by an impressive display of character acting at its finest, elevate the entire film to a real-life level. All that, and it features one of the most beautiful film scores to have ever graced the big screen.
There were no weak links in this acting chain. A few newcomers were outstanding and Morgan Fairchild could not have been better cast. I loved her appropriately appointed eccentricities in a role that could have easily become a campy farce, had she not infused it with an innate kindness and warmth. The same can be said for John Heard and all the skills he brought to this ensemble, so that we were able to know his character inside and out.
Special mention must be made of the two leading ladies, upon whose shoulders and within each one’s patient and paced unfolding this entire movie sits, and a glowing mention it will be. To say that Jessica Clark is beautiful is like calling Mother Teresa a nice lady; it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of her magnificence. She possesses an effortless grace and intelligence, managing to hold onto a vulnerable innocence that is belied by its strength and confidence, an almost equine and majestic presence, making those private moments the audience gets to watch her be overtaken by her raw, broken and haunting memories all the more heart-wrenching.
And Barbara Niven is perfect, delivering a fully present, honest and fearless interpretation of a woman at an interesting fork in her road, in a role seemingly written with her in mind. She breathes a life into this character that attaches you to the outcome of the story in a way you don’t expect, the performance is executed with such seasoned ease, and leaves you thinking about her long after the final credits have rolled.
For Nicole Conn, the sensitive, yet fiercely focused, writer and director of “A Perfect Ending” who was sitting in the back of the screening room at the Atlantic City premiere I attended, it must have been an indescribable thrill to witness all the spontaneous bursts of feelings all over the theater…This must be every director’s dream: to sit in the back of a dark theater, filled to capacity on an opening night, to watch the emotions and see the genuine reactions to your labor of love, sweat and tears; to see the audience rise at the closing credits, clapping, whistling, screaming, hugging and jumping up and down, an audience of women and men, gay and straight, young and old and in all colors, shapes and sizes celebrating all that they felt and learned as a result of what was up on that screen. Congratulations, Nicole & Marina (Co-Founders of Soul Kiss Films); my hat is off to you and to the devoted team who made “A Perfect Ending” a reality.
This is a film that needed to be made and needs to be seen, with a message that is both simple and profound: Love is about content, not form, and while we’re able, we need to open to it, welcome and embrace it when it comes to us, if we are to truly experience our lives and the reason we are here.
By Sharry Marcus