|Page 1 of 3:||  |
|Index||21 reviews in total|
Yeah, yeah...who could not find fault with this implausible menagerie
of models & Marxists? Here, even the most inept of film-schoolers could
find a surplus of shortfalls, for which to offer their trite insight.
What's blatantly apparent with this film is...the script seems never to
have transcended the first-draft stage...the characters all seem either
to be on psychotropic drugs, or to be in need of psychotherapeutic
ones...and the director seems to have had his mind on other things
perhaps how to act in his small but completely forgettable part.
However, for some of us, the challenge is to discover the good points of 'critical failures', such as "Exposed", and as everyone seems to be somewhat more then vaguely aware, what's most redeeming about this film is, in a word, "NASTASSJAKINSKI"! When she is before the camera, all the problems behind it seem insignificant.
Cheers, J.B. - Prospect Point Productions, Inc.
The early 80's seemed to be a ripe time for espionage-themed films and, taken as a whole, is probably somewhere in the middle in terms of quality (goodness knows there were worse!). However, what makes it worth seeing are two things: its European locales (all in monochromatic greys and browns) and, first and foremost, the astonishing and eye-achingly beautiful Kinski, in what may well be her ripest, fiercest, most raw performance captured on film. What surrounds her, unfortunately, is either standard or downright embarassing: wooden supporting performances (particularly Nureyev, who looks singularly uneasy and clodding, ironic for someone who spent a lifetime being praised for his graceful moves), an often senseless plot, and direction that veers from shameful to confused, none of which is helped by sometimes-spastic editing. And yet...there is Kinski, breathing life into this dull affair in spite of itself, wiping everyone else from the screen and the audience's eyes and minds. Here, she is a force to be reckoned with, radiating an intriguing blend of natural awkwardness and just-enough confidence: in essence, she is 100% REAL. There isn't a single false moment delivered by her, as a young woman who falls into the world of both modeling and espionage, giving the film as a whole the unmistakable air of 'what-could-have-been'. If this movie had a tenth of what she provides, it would still rate, despite being dated, as a modern-day classic. As it is, it IS, whatever its many, many flaws, worth seeing (for it's often-silly early-80's fashions, as a time machine, those aforementioned locales) but she is the main reason why. She is brilliant.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like some of the others that have commented on this film I first
watched this about 20 years ago and have seen it a few more times since
then and I'm not sure what it is about this but it's definitely an
intriguing mess. Story is about a Wisconsin girl named Elizabeth
Carlson (Nastassja Kinski) who leaves college and heads to New York
City where after getting a job as a waitress is discovered by a fashion
agent who makes her into a very successful model.
*****SPOILER ALERT***** While this is all going on she notices a strange man following her (Rudolf Nureyev) and eventually has to confront him and learns that his name is Daniel Jelline and he wants to kill a terrorist. They engage in a romance and she follows him to Paris but gets upset when she discovers that he used her to try and get closer to Rivas (Harvey Keitel) who's the terrorist and plotting his next act of destruction. Elizabeth notices a woman from New York that was watching her and recognizes her as one of the members of Rivas gang and they strike up a conversation which results in her getting the opportunity to meet him. After Rivas lets her go she immediately goes to get Daniel and this leads to a violent and bloody conclusion.
This was the third film that James Toback had written and directed and he was still riding the critical praise of his first film "Fingers" but he seemed to bite off more than he could chew with this story. First off, nobody believed Kinski was a girl from the Midwest and she never appeared at home until she arrived in Paris. Keitel is woefully miscast as a terrorist and after multiple viewings of this film I was never sure if he was supposed to be a Parisian or something else. I've heard everyone describe Nureyev's performance as wooden and stiff but with his dark eyes I always compared him to Dracula and every time he spoke he would either speak in metaphors or recite something poetically. But with all that, this film has always been something of a curiosity and for some reason I cannot get myself to admit that this is a bad film. There's something alluring and intriguing about the story and I think it has to do with the casting of Kinski who has often been described as a force to reckon with. At one point Kinski does a dance by herself and with her unique screen presence one can't help but be absorbed by her character. Toback's script and film has such high aspirations and is so ambitious that for most of us it commands some sort of attention. Many future viewers will simply reject this after one viewing and not think twice about it but for those of us who watched Kinski and Toback rise to they're abilities in the early 80's this clumsy film has always been something of a curiosity.
There are moments in this film that are so amazing to me. It is hard to
describe in words what occurs in this film that I find so
Kinski is sheer brilliance. It is not that she delivers a phenomenal performance but that she seduces the camera without any ego. I have never seen this done before by another actress in the same sense. It is though we were watching a documentary.
The film is an awful mess but at the same time I found it fascinating. The dance Kinski does in her unfurnished apartment has a strong sense of an individual void of the conformity of life. She dances to the beat of her own drum.
There is another scene where Kinski gets out of a cab and falls in the street. She gets up and runs away with a limp in her step. Why I found that intriguing I cannot say. It seemed awkward in an awkward film.
I like it for its foolishness and its attempt of making the world of fashion and terrorism seem romantic.
Kinski breaks the barrier between audience and screen as the magazine Variety stated. It was such a perfect description of her performance. Roger Ebert offers an excellent review on this film and I highly agree with it.
Check it out sometime and see a star at work.
Taken as an historical perspective of Nastassja Kinski, this is a relatively young Nastassja who totally dominates the screen. As the movie proceeds, it becomes more and more apparent that Nastassja has something called screen presence, meaning that whenever she is on screen there is the promise of something electric occurring that is extraordinary. Today, this movie may appear to be wooden and dated, especially with the performance or lack of performance of Rudolph Nureyev who is absolutely obliterated by Nastassja. The movie on its own cannot be taken seriously, but it maybe viewed as a celebration of Nastassja Kinski.
I hadn't seen this film since its original release back in 1983. The only things I remembered about it were that (1) Nastassja Kinski was very beautiful and (2) the plot was an incoherent mess. Well, 20 years later nothing has changed. In addition to her beauty, Kinski offers an interesting performance, doing what she can with the ludicrous dialogue and plot machinations. Kinski seemed to have what it takes to become a top star but somehow this never fully came to pass, at least not in the USA. Maybe her appeal was too exotic for American audiences, or maybe she simply made too many questionable choices for projects to become involved in. In the case of "Exposed," she was given little help from James Toback's direction (he also appears early on as her college professor/lover and proves himself to be a most inept actor) or the truly awful performance of the late Rudolf Nureyev. Also, in this post-9/11 world, the whole terrorism plot made me most uncomfortable.
Exposed showcases Nastassja Kinski's enigmatic beauty. She is beauty
without ego. A rare trait in this day and age of vanity ridden films.
Her presence is most rewarding in a rather awkward film. James Toback
directed the film to showcase Kinski and expected her to become a
superstar after it's release. This did not happen.
Kinski is a phenomenon on screen and is a perfect example of star presence. She did it in Polanksi's handsome Tess, Wender's, Paris Texas, and Coppola's One From The Heart. However, it is Toback's Exposed that captures her primitive nature at its core. Her exotic beauty combined with an esoteric knowledge hidden behind those dark eyes is intimidating and hypnotic. It was if Director Toback said to Kinski: " Just be yourself." It is unique to witness how this actress can be captured so unattractive then in the right light become the most radiant unusual striking figure of defined beauty. This is what the famous directors who seduced her saw in her.
There is something very sexy about the film as Kinski gets transformed from farm girl to high fashion model. Beauty and the beast unfold as idealism and terrorism seduce young sexy women to act out their rebel idealistic cause in a Capitalistic world. It is understandable why two Romantic Men would pursue such a cover girl as Kinski. She is exquisite at times and striking to the senses. She plays a free spirit very well, a Goddess to the nymph.
The film has some cool 60's rock interwoven in the story, :"Locomotion" and "La Bamba" play as Kinski discovers her new world. The Shoop Shoop Song by Betty Everett has Kinski dancing alone to the spirits of desire.
Rudolph Nureyev has a perverse sexiness that somehow balances Kinski's exotic nature. He plays her like a violin to foul a terrorist who killed his father. There is a scene where they look like vampires as pretense surrounds Published photos in a gallery showcasing Kinski. Shame on Toback for not drawing us nearer or shame on the photographer for allowing pettiness not to allow the camera to explore the photos. It was a pivotal moment in the film to prove to the audience why this actress was the "one."
Toback keeps the viewer away at times from the action. It was as if he could only do one take.
Exposed is alluring like it's star. Don't even pay attention to the world that surrounds Kinski. Just watch her. She has been Exposed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Exposed" has to be one of the most unusual, different, and
unpredictable films I have ever seen. Many of the reviews on IMDb fault
this film for having an incoherent plot. I actually believe that this
criticism is unjustified, since writer-director James Toback is really
trying to make a very ambitious film on the theme of the western world
"breaking down" morally, politically, economically, and every other
way. Toback, playing a professor in this picture, even makes this point
rather banally to a classroom filled with indifferent students. The
film then pursues this theme in a very fresh and original way by
exploring the turbulent life of Elizabeth Carlson, who is played
brilliantly here by the German actress Nastassja Kinski. The beginning
of the film shows a terrorist attack and Elizabeth looking
indifferently at her literature professor in that order, begging the
question of how these two scenes are related. Then over the course of a
series of extraordinary (but nonetheless plausible) plot twists, we
learn the answer to this question. The end of the film shows Elizabeth
gazing over her dying lover in the streets of Paris as the western
world, in a metaphorical sense, collapses all around her.
Aside from the mostly interestingly plot, the strength of the film lies in Natassija Kinski's performance as Elizabeth. She plays this character so brilliantly that we can almost overlook those moments in the film where she delivers poor lines. Rudolf Nureyev's performance as the enigmatic violinist David Jelline is not as good, but he is still very interesting to watch all the same. Now the film is not without its weaknesses. I found the acting of most of the supporting cast to be amateurish and dull, including Toback's brief performance as the literature professor. Moreover, "Exposed" starts out a bit too slowly in the beginning before picking up tempo and becoming more interesting. Yet there were enough unexpected plot developments (including a "violin seduction" that has to be seen to be believed), classical music, and interesting characters to keep me interested right up to the end.
Nastassja Kinski gives off an incredibly natural performance in this otherwise quite forgetful film. The plot is strange, convoluted and executed in a roundabout fashion, with many events that just seem randomly shoved together. It is really a mess on the writing front, with little, if any, structure to the screenplay. It is also filled with dislikeable small supporting characters that add nothing to the tale, and towards the end it becomes awfully weak. Even so, there is something really great about Kinski's acting. It never feels forced or unnatural. It is just about worth watching the film just for her, even though it is not terribly well made, nor particularly amusing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Probably the only movie ever made about a terrorist hunting super-model, James Toback's thriller is not particularly good. It's a snail-paced film featuring Nastassia Kinski as a model recruited by Rudolf Nureyev to kill Harvey Keitel. Kinski is pretty good and looks striking and Nureyev is suitably mysterious. Unfortunately Toback's script suffers from a real case of inertia, the plot doesn't so much unfold as it oozes. Kinski's character is fuzzy and Keitel, who shows up near the end of the film, is really given nothing to do. There is some terrific, very moody photography by Henri Decaë and the film does work as a travelogue of sort of the more seedy parts of Paris. Toback makes an un-billed appearance as Kinski's brusque college professor. Pierre Clémenti plays one of his typically creepy roles as one of Keitel's less trustworthy confidants.
|Page 1 of 3:||  |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|