Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 1993.  Fine Line Features, August Entertainment, Mindel-Shaw Productions.  Screenplay by , based on his play.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Living in the barren landscape of Arizona,  and boyfriend Tim Roth have decided to leave their life behind and make a new start in Montana.  Over the course of the next two days, they will come into contact with characters that will alter the outcome of their plans, with Roth wandering off for one final day that takes him in search of his estranged family, while Fonda commiserates with best friend (and Roth’s ex-girlfriend)  before having a sudden spark of a connection with the house painter () who has come to prepare her house for its next tenant.

Produced on a small budget and adapted by Roger Hedden from his own stage play (and it shows), the film is the very picture of early American indie cool.  Extremely dated and far too self-consciously in love with its own sense of aloofness, the low-burn intensity would be less of a problem if the characters were slightly more interesting.

That the conversations mainly describe a sort of stasis, humans treading emotional water between major life decisions, is interesting in theory, but the practice of watching so little charisma unfold for ninety minutes is not very satisfying.  The plot surrounds a couple who are trading one expansive, empty vista for another and the interplay between characters is about as minimal, with the exception of Stoltz who manages to give the film its only sparks with his appealing grin and ginger hues.

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