Playing By Heart (1998)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

United Kingdom/USA, 1998.  Hyperion Pictures, Intermedia, Miramax, Morpheus.  Screenplay by Willard Carroll.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Three women all have relationship troubles and are currently trying to work them out:   is having a clandestine, sex-only affair with a friend () who is not her husband,  (the best in the film) is in love with anti-relationship man , and  can’t allow herself to like , even though he’s nuts about her and seems to be quite perfect. Along the lines we also get to watch  and  battle it out as a couple re-evaluating their relationship after thirty years of marriage,  hitting on people in singles bars and making up wild stories about his life that are not true, and  comforting her son () 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

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