CREDIT: Strand Releasing/Outsider Pictures

Starring: Zina Zinchenko, Bobbi Jene Smith, Tyler Phillips, Or Schraiber

Director: Boaz Yakin

Running Time: 115 Minutes

Rating: Unrated, But There is Enough Nudity Here to Flirt with an NC-17

Release Date: June 12, 2020 (Virtual Theatrical Release)

If you’re in the mood for a cinematic love story that can be described as “fluid” in every sense of the term, then Aviva sjpi;d be a treat for you. It’s written and directed by Boaz Yakin, who’s probably best known for Remember the Titans, but this is about as far from that family-friendly football flick as possible. The Parisian Aviva (Zina Zinchenko and Or Schraiber) and the New Yorker Eden (Bobbie Jene Smith and Tyler Phillips) find themselves in an intoxicating, tempestuous love affair that spans continents, genders, and various states of dress and undress (emphasis on the undress). To watch this movie, you need to be mature enough to handle how emotions can change a dime, and how the entire nature of reality can be just as capricious.

You might have noticed that I listed a pair of actors for each of the two main characters, and perhaps you’ve caught on that that means there is a male and a female version of both Aviva and Eden. If you only pay half of your attention while watching Aviva, you might not pick up on the consistency of these individuals as they switch genders. If you however remain totally focused, it might still take you a little while to register that fact, but once it clicks, it makes perfect sense. Call it the “Cloud Atlas Effect,” wherein the self doesn’t have to be bound by the laws of physics if you don’t want it to.

Besides the gender fluidity, the other major takeaway of Aviva is its delight in featuring plentiful nudity. I would call it shameless, but that sounds too vulgar for how artful the human body is presented here. Spending naked time in bed, doing naked ballet, or otherwise just hanging out naked is how Aviva spends a good chunk of its time. The whole movie is one long dance, both literally and figuratively. Aviva and Eden put clothes on when they head out to public spaces, but it’s pretty clear even then that they’re letting us see everything about them. If you’re prepared to allow all the body parts to fly right in your face (both the visible and invisible ones), then you may very well be ready to handle Aviva. There’s no other way to approach something so bold.

Aviva is Recommended If You Like: Cloud Atlas, Tasteful and passionate cinematic nudity, Did I mention the nudity?

Grade: 3.5 out of 5 Countdowns