Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom/USA, 1998. Hyperion Pictures, Intermedia, Miramax, Morpheus. Screenplay by Willard Carroll. Cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond. Produced by Willard Carroll, Meg Lieberman, Thomas L. Wilhite. Music by John Barry. Production Design by Missy Stewart. Costume Design by April Ferry. Film Editing by Pietro Scalia.
Three women all have relationship troubles and are currently trying to work them out: Madeleine Stowe is having a clandestine, sex-only affair with a friend (Anthony Edwards) who is not her husband, Angelina Jolie (the best in the film) is in love with anti-relationship man Ryan Phillippe, and Gillian Anderson can’t allow herself to like Jon Stewart, even though he’s nuts about her and seems to be quite perfect. Along the lines we also get to watch Gena Rowlands and Sean Connery battle it out as a couple re-evaluating their relationship after thirty years of marriage, Dennis Quaid hitting on people in singles bars and making up wild stories about his life that are not true, and Ellen Burstyn comforting her son (Jay Mohr) in his last days before dying of AIDS. The only cheat is that Burstyn and Mohr’s scenes are among the most touching in the film and are seen so sparingly. All these stories combine beautifully in the end with Altmanesque flair by director Willard Carroll, who shows a huge amount of talent when it comes to giving characters snappy dialogue and genuine feeling. Hopefully you will also be swept away by just how elegant the entire production is as well. Watch it again and again and you’ll discover new things you never noticed before.
Berlin Film Festival: In Competition