In middle age, inventor Stephen Minch is happy enough with his life, despite the fact that he has never risen to prominence even though his innovations have made others rich. His wife ... See full summary »
Jessie is an ageing career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a... See full summary »
Georgie Soloway, a pop hit love song writer who cannot love, himself, or others. He spends his days with various women flying his plane, and dropping in to the world around him. Written by
To achieve maximum realism, Ulu Grosbard insisted that Dustin Hoffman appear live at the now-shuttered rock palace Fillmore East. Cameras captured the reaction of the regular Friday night audience gathered for an actual Grateful Dead concert. See more »
A clear-eyed, surprisingly meditative personal odyssey...
Despite the nudging, rambling title and Dustin Hoffman's mildly hippie appearance, "Who Is Harry Kellerman..." is rather old-fashioned in its quest to find substantial meaning in life, which screenwriter Herb Gardner sees as always being undermined by the inevitability of death. There are no pretenses here towards embracing a pseudo-hip scenario, and the lack of mod-ish overtones keeps the film relevant and fresh. Hoffman plays an East Coast songwriter, currently being hailed by Time magazine as a prophet, who sees nothing meaningful in his existence, hearkening back on his ordinary boyhood in order to make peace with the present. Accentuated by bursts of rock music, and defined by little bits of mordant truth, the film blessedly isn't a silly phantasmagoria, although some may see all this as a con--written by somebody who is out of step with the times (Gardner wrote the coy "A Thousand Clowns", after all). Yet, somehow, the movie strikes a melancholic, sobering, almost disenfranchised chord, and smart director Ulu Grosbard is actually interested in revealing something tangible through his characters. Hoffman's Georgie Soloway can't enjoy living without relating it to dying, and so has suicidal flights-of-fancy, paranoiac personal dramas, and surreal sessions with a Viennese analyst. It's a good role for Dustin, while Barbara Harris is wonderful in the small role of a struggling actress who's still in love with 1957. It takes a while to get into the movie's groove, but there are some worthwhile thoughts here, helped immeasurably by Victor Kemper's non-fussy cinematography and Grosbard's deep connection with the material. It's a near-triumph. **1/2 from ****
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