Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1986. American Filmworks, Lorimar Productions. Screenplay by James Cresson. Cinematography by Andrzej Bartkowiak. Produced by Bruce Gilbert. Music by Paul Chihara. Production Design by Albert Brenner. Costume Design by Ann Roth. Film Editing by Joel Goodman. Academy Awards 1986.
An alcoholic, once-famous actress (Jane Fonda) wakes up to find a murdered man lying next to her in bed. Naturally, this makes her a prime suspect to the crime, but she has no recollection of the night it happened or how he even got into her house, let alone her bed. Is she really insane, or is someone manipulating her? The only people she can turn to at this point are a fellow former drinker and ex-cop (Jeff Bridges) and her hairdresser (Raul Julia) with whom she shares a close personal friendship. It’s a routine thriller with a predictable outcome, but it rises slightly above the mundane with its complex lead character and the terrific job Fonda does of playing her. It’s also indicative of the change in popular movies from the seventies to the corporation-studio eighties: the actress who wowed us in Klute and The China Syndrome teams up with the director of Network and Dog Day Afternoon to pull off a cookie-cutter genre movie. No wonder Fonda retired early.