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2007 | 1997

1 item from 1997

Film review: 'Santa Fe'

23 January 1997 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

PARK CITY, Utah -- Desert gurus, seminar spiritualists and every other form of New Age varmint that Los Angeles has tossed toward Santa Fe is the focus of this understated cerebral comedy about the flaky state of that current "in" spot.

Playing as a dramatic competition entrant here at the Sundance Film Festival, "Santa Fe" is a droll tale that should fork some decent returns on select-site roads. In particular, fans of novelist John Nichols, who has written extensively about the area in his New Mexico trilogy, will appreciate its satirical sense of the Southwest.

In this dry and dusty sendup, Gary Cole stars as Paul, a brainy lawman who was nearly killed in the line of duty and whose status as one of Santa Fe's finest was jeopardized by his being in a cult. A serious and scholarly sort, Paul's hostility to the pseudo-spiritualist gibberish of the area is topped off when he finds that his wife (Sheila Kelley) has taken up with a New Age acupuncturist. Further riling his sensibilities, Paul's daughter has become enamored with a self-help guru (Lolita Davidovich). Paul's predilection to quote Jean-Paul Sartre and remonstrate to them does not further endear him to his family, including his sister, a feisty councilwoman who has decided to run against the current mayor, an L.A. refugee.

In all, the film is a percolating mix of personal problems and philosophical conundrums and, best of all, writers Mark Medoff and Andrew Shea have rattled it up with all the spicy trappings of life in the area. Overall, "Santa Fe" is a portrait of a mind-set, filtered through the contradictions of that city. If "Santa Fe" has a problem, it is that it does not know its own boundaries -- the writers have woven too much tapestry into this format.

Shea's sly sensibility serves the film well, especially in his keen lensing of production designer Rosario Provenza's sunny-funny mix of things. Visually, "Santa Fe" is scrappy and succinct, owing to cinematographer Paul Elliott's smart sense of framings.

The cast is solid, especially Cole and Davidovich.


Nu Image

A Doradel Pictures production

A film by Andrew Shea

Producers Larry Estes, Andrew Shea

Director Andrew Shea

Screenwriters Mark Medoff, Andrew Shea

Executive producers Sharon Bialy,

Boaz Davidson

Director of photography Paul Elliott

Production designer Rosario Provenza

Costume designer Deborah Shaw

Editor Melissa Gerrero

Music Mark Governor

Line producer Holly Keenan

Casting director Sharon Bialy



Paul Gary Cole

Crystal Tina Majorino

Lea Sheila Kelley

Dan Jere Burns

Eleanor Lolita Davidovich

Alex Richard Schiff

Culpepper Michael Harris

Nancy Pamela Reed

Richard Adan Sanchez

Running time -- 97 minutes


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2007 | 1997

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