Director: Tanya Wexler
Stars: Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Price, Rupert Everett
When I learnt the film 'Hysteria' was about the invention of the vibrator, I was intrigued to say the least.
Based on true events and set in Victorian England in the 1880s, Hugh Dancy plays Dr Mortimer Granville, a young physician who struggles to hold down work due to his progressive views on germs.
But the handsome doctor’s fortune changes when he meets and lands a job at the upper-class practice of Dr Robert Dalrymple, who specialises in the treatment of 'hysteria' - characterized by "weeping, nymphomania, frigidity, melancholia, and anxiety" - among the wealthy housewives of society.
Quickly learning the art of manually stimulating woman – which makes for some hilarious scenes – before long Mortimer is the go-to man and not surprisingly he starts to suffer from severe hand cramps.
But this isn’t the only problem he’s faced with. While he’s promptly engaged to Dalrymple’s polite daughter Emily, he’s drawn to her sister, hot-headed feminist Charlotte, who is trying her darndest to convince Mortimer to put his education to better use, helping the less fortunate members of society.
With standout performances by Maggie Gyllenhaal as feisty Charlotte, and Rupert Everett, who plays Mortimer’s endearing inventor friend (and later business partner) Edmund, 'Hysteria' is a charming and light-hearted portrayal of what was a crucial chapter in sexual history.'Hysteria' is in NZ cinemas now
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