Man of Flowers | Chicago Reader

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Paul Cox's poetic comedy (1983) functions through its slightness: its subject is a lonely, middle-aged man (Norman Kaye) whose lifelong fear of sexuality has led him to retreat from the world into pure aestheticism—he practices flower arrangement, takes sketching classes, and plays the organ at his neighborhood church. Into his life comes Lisa (Alyson Best), a professional figure model, whom he hires to strip to the strains of Lucia di Lammermoor. Lisa's affection for her gently eccentric employer grows, but he resists becoming involved with her—and that's about all there is to it. Cox's morose, subtly whimsical style takes a while to impose itself, but eventually the film acquires a cozy, seductive strangeness, spun from curious, understated details and some plangent imagery. With Chris Haywood, Sarah Walker, and Julia Blake.

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