A wry comedy-drama about a dissolute middle-aged actor’s relationship with a virginal teenager, “Sequence of Feelings” is modest but enjoyable. Polish writer-director Radoslaw Piwowarski’s last effort was the altogether less subtle “Train to Hollywood.”
Daniel Olbrychski gives one of his best perfs in a while as Rafal, a jaded, womanizing actor who arrives in a small mining town in Silesia to play the lead in a local legit production of “Romeo and Juliet.” This stint in the sticks interrupts his latest affair, with a married woman he frequently calls.
When visited by a shy young music student, he assumes she’ll be an easy conquest. But Julia (played with grave serenity by newcomer Maria Seweryn) is a virgin who needs some convincing before she’ll allow the actor she idolizes to become her first lover.
Against the odds, Rafal falls hopelessly in love with her. But when Julia slips away from home to visit the actor in the middle of the night, she finds his married mistress, whom Rafal was too weak to turn away when she paid an unexpected visit. Julia’s naive dreams of romantic love are shattered.
It’s a simple enough story, but it works to perfection, thanks to excellent performances by Olbrychski and the delightfully natural Seweryn (daughter of Polish actors Krystyna Janda and Andrzej Seweryn). Humorous and touching by turns, pic is subtly directed, with the small town’s drab streets and tacky theater amusingly observed.