There are plenty of bodies in motion, clothed and not, in Aviva, a love story propelled by inventive dance sequences and uninhibited sex. But the first bodies we see in Boaz Yakin's atypically experimental film are defiantly still. Their gazes are direct, their self-confident nakedness a rebuke, perhaps, or a happy challenge to run-of-the-mill repression, setting the tone for the emotional and physical writhing that lies ahead.
Cast entirely with dancers, Boaz Yakin's sexually frank romantic drama explores the male and female aspects of its central characters, each played by both a man and a woman.
The movie finds Yakin (Fresh, Remember the Titans) freed from formula. Inspired in part by the double casting of the lead character in Buñuel's That Obscure Object of Desire, the writer-director uses a similar approach to trace the highs and lows of a relationship between a man, Eden (Tyler Phillips), and a woman, Aviva (Zina Zinchenko): They're played as well by another pair of performers, choreographers Bobbi Jene Smith (as the female aspect of Eden) and Or Schraiber (the male Aviva). This quartet of selves appear in varying configurations, making for tantalizing explorations of flesh and identity, complete with four-way living-room arguments and metaphorical bedroom threesomes.