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Yes is the story of an Irish-American careerist (a radiant Joan Allen) who escapes her stale marriage to a cold-fish Brit (Sam Neill) via a passionate affair with a Lebanese chef (Simon Abkarian). Eccentric auteur Sally Potter claims her background as a lyricist inspired her to write all the dialogue in iambic verse - - which is all very nice for her, but an initial distraction for viewers. However, Allen and Abkarian exude such fierce intelligence and physical chemistry that their melodious conversations (covering everything from God, death, war and politics) gradually become seductive, moving and often quite beautiful. Exploring central themes of love and dirt (both are offered as evidence that we are alive), the picture flirts with pretension, but the final scenes are so disarming, wounded and ultimately hopeful that you can overlook the odd moment when Yes muddles life's fundamentals to disappear up its own fundament.

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