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4.0 1
Director: Sally Potter

Cast: Joan Allen, Simon Abkarian, Sam Neill

Filmmaker Sally Potter directed this artful meditation on the dynamics of the romantic and sexual relationship. She (Joan Allen) is an intelligent and gifted genetic scientist of Irish-American heritage who feels smothered in her marriage to a British politician (Sam Neill). While dining at a friend's house, She meets He (Simon Abkarian), a handsome Lebanese exile who


Filmmaker Sally Potter directed this artful meditation on the dynamics of the romantic and sexual relationship. She (Joan Allen) is an intelligent and gifted genetic scientist of Irish-American heritage who feels smothered in her marriage to a British politician (Sam Neill). While dining at a friend's house, She meets He (Simon Abkarian), a handsome Lebanese exile who was a respected surgeon in his homeland but now supports himself in London as a cook. He flirts with her, and She is pleased with his advances; weeks later, she contacts him, and an affair begins. However, despite their mutual attraction, He and She find it difficult to set aside their political and national differences for very long, as love and lust wage a quiet war against the conscience and the intellect. Yes also features supporting performances from Shirley Henderson and Sheila Hancock.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This daring little indie, not widely released, tends to polarize viewers: Some find the movie passionate and provocative; others find it pretentious and self-absorbed. One thing is certain: Yes is not a cookie-cutter Hollywood movie that proceeds along formula lines and plays it safe. Writer-director Sally Potter (Orlando) obviously wanted to take chances and force her audience to think while watching this film, which comments on love, sex, religion, class, and politics in ways guaranteed to provoke strong reactions. Joan Allen portrays a poised, elegant Irish-American wife who engages in a steamy affair with a Lebanese waiter and kitchen worker (Simon Abkarian) while her wealthy politician husband (Sam Neill) pursues other interests. We learn that the waiter was once a doctor who abandoned his profession after the politically motivated killing of man he had just saved from death. Drawn to each other following a chance encounter at a formal dinner, they find it easy to get physical but more difficult to take the affair to a more intimate level. To be sure, Potter tells her story rather self-consciously; the dialogue is delivered in rhymed iambic pentameter, a rhythm found often in the works of Shakespeare but rarely in movies with 21st-century settings. And eyebrows may be raised by the ten-minute sequence in which the wife's dying aunt, an unrepentant Marxist, laments the failure of Communism and what she believes to be an unhealthy fixation on the acquisition of material goods one doesn't need. Despite the film's sometimes contrived nature, Yes compels interest by virtue of the unusually skillful performances of its two leads. Allen, in particular, is excellent; on the basis of this film and the recent Upside of Anger, she has taken her place at the head of any list of cinema's most prominent leading ladies.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Finding scene 54 featurette; Behind-the-scenes photo gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joan Allen She
Simon Abkarian He
Sam Neill Anthony
Shirley Henderson Cleaner
Sheila Hancock Aunt
Samantha Bond Kate
Stephanie Leonidas Grace
Gary Lewis Billy
Wil Johnson Virgil
Raymond Waring Whizzer
Barbara Oxley Cleaner in Swimming Pool
Kev Orkian Walter
George Yiasoumi Kitchen Boss
Beryl Scott Cleaner in Laboratory
Lol Coxhill Father Christmas
Father Charles Owen Priest
Mandy Coombes Nun
Beti Owen Nun
Dot Bond Cleaner in Nursing Home
Dorca Reyes Sanchez Woman in Cuban Apartment
Antoine Agoudjian Friends in Beirut
Christina Galstian Friends in Beirut
Nelson Hernandez Actor

Technical Credits
Sally Potter Director,Score Composer,Screenwriter
Magaly Batista Makeup
Carlos Bustamante Asst. Director
Olivier Chiavassa Production Manager
Carlos Conti Production Designer
Angelo Cosimano Production Manager
Iohamil Navarro Cuesta Production Manager
Volumen Agencia De Casting Casting
Anne Delacour Action Director
Jacqueline Durran Costumes/Costume Designer
Juan Eveno Production Manager
Andrew Fierberg Producer
Diane Gelon Associate Producer
Michel Ghosn Executive Producer
Daniel Goddard Editor
Jeanette Haley Consultant/advisor
Hagop Handian Consultant/advisor
Cedric Jeanson Executive Producer
Irene Lamb Casting
Michael Manzi Production Manager
Fernando Medina Executive Producer
Julio Cesar Mora Translator
John Penotti Executive Producer
Alina Pombo Casting
Potter's House Mass Choir Score Composer
Frank Cabrera Rode Executive Producer
Alex Rodionov Cinematographer
Elbia Rondo Costumes/Costume Designer
Lara Saba Production Manager
Christopher Shephard Producer
Christopher Sheppard Producer
Claire Spooner Art Director
Fisher Stevens Executive Producer
Elena Tejada Production Manager
Paul Trijbits Executive Producer
Tommaso Vergallo Production Manager
Lucie Wenigerova Associate Producer
Emma Zee Consultant/advisor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Yes
1. Start [3:15]
2. A Beauty Alone [4:04]
3. Well-Organized Marriage [3:53]
4. Talk of Fruit and Memory [4:39]
5. she Is the One [3:53]
6. The Nature of Women [5:05]
7. Beauty and Chemistry [3:04]
8. Why He Left Beirut [4:36]
9. Parallel Envy [2:43]
10. At and Under the Table [3:16]
11. Inappropriate Confidence [2:49]
12. Warm and Cold [3:12]
13. Idea of West As Best [1:47]
14. Debating God at Christmas [4:12]
15. Dancing Around An Issue [2:48]
16. Marital Non-Fight [4:01]
17. Goodbye By Phone [2:14]
18. Lovers at War [9:21]
19. Chastising While Asleep [2:28]
20. A Dream of Cuba [3:22]
21. The Mess of Death [3:04]
22. Pleading [1:32]
23. The Struggle Against Dirt [3:15]
24. In Beirut and Cuba [2:43]
25. Where He Belongs? [2:33]
26. Confession to Camera [3:39]
27. Reunion [2:04]
28. "'No'Does Not Exist" [6:04]


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Yes 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“YES” is basically a gigantic poem. This is one of those efforts that can easily divide viewer’s right down the middle and unless you’re familiar with the director and into independent films in general this can be a challenging viewing experience. Story is set in London where we see a completely bored woman (Joan Allen known only as She) in a miserable marriage to an English politician (Sam Neill) and one night while at a dinner party she catches the eye of a restaurant cook. He (Simon Abkarian) is Lebanese and instantly starts to flirt with She and it doesn't take long before both of them are head on into an affair but the one thing that seems to stand in their way isn't her marriage but the difference in nationalities. These are characters dealing with life from opposite ends of the spectrum. While She examines sperm cells and eggs under a microscope, He, we later find, is a qualified surgeon from Beirut, now reduced to chopping meat in a restaurant. The couple's erotic and tempestuous affair examines cultural identity in post 9/11 London (significantly, filming started on 12th Sept 2001 and it was released shortly after the London bombings). Ultimately, it's a film about saying “YES” to life and how diversification adds poetic substance to our otherwise stale lives. Even the microscopes used by She to examine our multiplying and mutating genetic code have a life of their own, the lenses appearing as bulbous alien eyes under their dust mask covers. Dirt here is not something that can be swept away, but is regenerative and needs to be confronted. Images of cleaners occur throughout the film, frantically trying to clear up the emotional mess the characters leave in their wake. The camera work look like it was right out of film school and was a bit annoying. Granted some location photography was excellent....the colors and costume and locations obviously well thought out. I really enjoyed Shirley Henderson, as the cleaner who began and closed the movie I kept wishing that she had a bigger part in the movie. So, if you are a poem lover or an independent film lover, I'd recommend it. But if you are just a regular film lover, you might want to stay away from it.