Bohemian Alex Morrison has just finished directing his first feature length movie. In its previews, the movie is considered a critical, artistic and surefire commercial success. As such, ...
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Henry Graham lives the life of a playboy. When his lawyer tells him one day that his lifestyle has consumed all his funds, he needs an idea to avoid climbing down the social ladder. So he intends to marry a rich woman and - murder her.
Bohemian Alex Morrison has just finished directing his first feature length movie. In its previews, the movie is considered a critical, artistic and surefire commercial success. As such, Alex seemingly has his choice of what his next project will be. Alex has a few thoughts in his mind, such as a biopic of Lenny Bruce, or a movie about a black uprising in Los Angeles. As he makes the rounds both in the Hollywood community and European movie centers for ideas, he fantasizes about movie scenarios of those everyday situations he is in. These fantasies are influenced by his movie idols, some who he meets such as Italian director Federico Fellini and French actress Jeanne Moreau. Concurrently, he is considering what to do about his personal life. He, his wife Beth and their two daughters live a middle class lifestyle. He is wondering whether it makes sense to "move up", which means that movie making not only has to achieve his main purpose of saying something meaningful, but also has to be... Written by
Fresh off of his breakout success Bob, Ted, Carol, and Alice, writer/ director Alex Mazursky made this close to the bone story of a hot new director caught up in a similar predicament. We never find out what Alex Morrison ( Donald Sutherland) settles on but this is the path Maz took and he went straight off the cliff.
Sloppy, heavy handed and dull from the get go Alex in Wonderland embarrassingly stumbles along from its early tedious overlong scenes brazenly invoking Fellini along the way before actually hauling the maestro himself into a scene that is painful to watch. In between 8 1/2 references he also turns a chance meeting with Jeanne Moreau on Hollywood Boulevard into a crass Umbrellas of Cherbourg moment. Sutherland meanwhile with his liquid blue eyes reflecting in the California sun, his anti establishment hair blowing in the breeze looks dumbfounded in his tepid angst of struggling with confinement in a middle class gulag. As this unfolds Mazursky paints his backdrop with Alex's "wild" ideas, a heavy handed sloppy costume party complete with requisite dwarfs (one dressed like, you guessed it,Federico) as his nightmarish vision of Armegeddon.
Ironically the best thing about Alex is Masurzky's performance as a millionaire wanting in on the movie business. Better the camera had followed him than this mediocre artist and his delusions of "far out" grandeur. As the counter culture version of 81/2 I would say it was off by 9.
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