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copyright ©1999-2000

flick pick | Twin Falls Idaho 1999
Directed by: Michael Polish
Written by: Michael Polish, Mark Polish
Starring: Michele Hicks, Michael Polish, Mark Polish
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: drama
Watch it when you’re in the mood for something:   
artsy-fartsy, lovey, serious
The verdict: ½ / 5 the rating system explained

Plot synopsis Model-cum-prostitute Penny arrives one afternoon at a run-down hotel with the name of a client scratched on her hand, "Francis Falls." As it turns out, Francis has ordered the hooker as a birthday present for his twin brother. More specifically, his conjoined twin brother, Blake. Penny makes a feeble excuse, then flees. But she’s forced to go back when she realizes she’s left her purse behind. In the bleak little room, she finds Blake taking care of an obviously sick Francis. Concerned, Penny makes a call to her doctor friend, and asks him to come take a look. Apparently Francis, as perhaps the twins seem already to have been aware, has a weak heart, and it’s only his connection with the much stronger Blake that’s keeping him alive. The news saddens Penny, who’s beginning to feel a closeness to Blake, but when her lawyer friend/pimp Jay calls, she has to leave. It’s not until Halloween, when she sees Blake and Francis at her local diner – the waitress points them out to her when she tells Penny to check out the guys in the amazing Siamese twins costume – that the budding relationship picks up again. As Blake becomes more emotionally tied to Penny, he feels increasingly burdened by the physical and psychological ties that bind him to his dying brother.

Review Twin Falls Idaho is not a freak show. As Michele Hicks’ Penny notes to a friend, the twins aren’t ugly at all, rather beautiful even. Conjoined-ness aside, they're not even particularly weird. The movie’s more interested in exploring what it means to be connected to another human being – using the twins’ physical dependence as a metaphor for spiritual and emotional dependence – than about satisfying any sick fascinations viewers might have with looking at that which is not the norm. Real-life identical twins Michael and Mark Polish, acting as both writers and stars, never play the twins for shock value, concentrating instead on defining each twin’s individual personality, even while communicating how in tune they are with one another. The writing’s a little uneven, occasionally indulging in obvious metaphors and awkward monologues that are pretty shamelessly intended to break your heart, but for the most part, there’s a lovely, dreamy quiet intimacy to both the storytelling and the cinematography that really lulls you in. — reviewed by Yee-Fan Sun 

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