Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.
USA, 1999. Flying Heart Films, Hollywood Pictures, Rain City, Rational Packaging Company, Sugar Creek Productions, Summit Entertainment. Screenplay by Alan Rudolph, based on the book by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.. Cinematography by Elliot Davis. Produced by David Blocker, David Willis. Music by Mark Isham. Production Design by Nina Ruscio. Costume Design by Rudy Dillon. Film Editing by Suzy Elmiger.
Raucously noisy adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s popular novel that has Bruce Willis giving an excellent performance in what is otherwise a really brutal mess. He plays a car salesman whose world starts coming apart when he finds the pressures of his life are just getting to be too much. Barbara Hershey is wasted as his TV-addicted wife, Glenne Headly stars as his secretary and Nick Nolte his paranoid cross-dressing colleague at work. Albert Finney also appears as a Vonnagut-esque writer whose pornographic work is being celebrated at a conference that Willis has invited him to. The chaos of Willis’ mad world that Rudolph tries to describe is never effective, and the film is about as meaningful as a travel brochure. Nothing really to recommend it, since every actor in the film has given a better performance elsewhere, but if you are really attracted by the ensemble you could give it a chance. Fans of the novel are advised to steer clear.
Berlin Film Festival: In Competition
Toronto International Film Festival: 1999