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The Object of Beauty
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Object of Beauty More at IMDbPro »

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30 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

rare gem overlooked as much as statue

Author: mark worrell ( from naples, florida
18 December 2004

It is difficult for me to comprehend why there is only one viewer comment for this film, or why it is rated under a six. If an excellent film is about entertainment, intelligence, great acting and a terrific story with a treasury of clever humor that expounds the deeper meaning of a good relationship between a man and a woman over wealth and selfishly egotistical success, then this is a standout film that achieves a richness of artistic accomplishment that very few films do. No one truly sees the beauty of the bronze statue except the lowly and weathered housekeeper, a financially struggling mute, unable to express the profound feelings that are moving within her in words, but Rudi Davies sure gets it across with her expression and eyes. I had to drive 30 miles to the Cedar Lee Theater, Cleveland's only real art house, during it's original release, but after the film was over I realized it would have been worthwhile if I would have had to walk...some films are just that special

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

An Excellent Film, Not Given Enough Credit

Author: Bacardi1 from United States
27 June 2006

This is by far one of my favorite little films, & just yesterday I bought it on DVD for a mere pittance ($6 & change)& settled in happily to enjoy it again. Only once in a blue moon does it turn up on artsy/independent film-type channels, so don't hold your breath looking for it on TV.

Everyone in this film is perfectly cast, & what makes it come together so beautifully is that each character in this piece exhibits faults & foibles, as we all do. It's so refreshing to watch something entertaining where the characters are portrayed as "real" - albeit flawed - people. In addition, the jazz musical score throughout the film fits the mood like a glove.

My favorite not-to-be-missed extremely funny scene? John Malkovich's "Jake", in a moment of depressed exasperation, talking aloud to himself composing his own obituary. I laugh every time I hear it - his delivery is perfect. Another favorite scene, very poignant, is when Mr. Malkovich's "Jake" phones his parents, after an apparently long absence, with the apparent intention of requesting monetary assistance. From the one-sided conversation you hear, you get an automatic insight into "Jake"'s upbringing, & perhaps why he's taken the path he has. Even though short, it's an extremely moving & insightful scene.

This movie is definitely worth renting if you can find it - but for the money, it's also worth adding to one's permanent DVD collection.

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Highly underrated movie; filled with irony.

Author: StephenTaylor from Canada
7 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the most underrated movies of all time. I am amazed at how many people can watch this film and not get the point. The Object of Beauty is an intelligent conversation about rich and poor, selfishness and giving, and basically how to be! How to behave as a human being. The language of the film is irony, specifically situational irony. It is ironic that Malkovic's character refers to himself as a pig being placed in a very sweaty position. Pig's don't sweat! It is ironic that the female deaf character claims that the inanimate sculpture spoke to her. It is ironic that while John's character is reporting the theft of the statue we learn that he has stolen an object of beauty from another man; MacDowell's character. Ironic even more that the insurance investigator is used to bring this info forward. You will enjoy this film much more if you pay attention to the irony of the value placed by different characters upon this Henry Moore sculpture. It is worth nothing to some, only money to others, an emotional commitment to another, and an object of aspiration to one other. All of these perspectives speak to each other, and it is a very interesting conversation.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

How did I miss this first time around

Author: Gluepack from Bulgaria
30 January 2010

Not the usual fare for PPV on Bulsatcom in Bulgaria and, with Malkovich currently appearing every few seconds on CNN, in ads for one of their items about him (I've seen the item and he is sickeningly pretentious), I was in two minds whether or not to use my last (free) token to watch it.

My God! I am glad I did. Malkovich and MacDowell gave superlative performances in a beautifully written, directed and acted piece where even the minor roles combined to make this a masterpiece of story and film. Not just "even" the minor roles, as these were excellent performances by Joss Ackland, Ricci Harnett, Bill Paterson, Roger Lloyd-Pack, etc., etc., yes even the few lines from Pip Torrens as the art evaluator. Rudi Davies was excellent (not sure why we haven't seen anything from her in the last fifteen years).

Well, my free token ran out three minutes before the end. Pity!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

living well is the best revenge

Author: Michael Neumann from United States
21 December 2010

The object in question is a pint-sized Henry Moore statuette, owned by shallow sophisticate Andie McDowell and appraised at $35,000, an amount in many ways even more beautiful to its owner than the item itself. Especially when McDowell and her 'husband' (played to haughty perfection by John Malkovich) find themselves at a fiscal disadvantage while living beyond their means in a posh London hotel. In the vernacular of the upwardly mobile, they aren't 'fluid', and when the statuette disappears they immediately accuse each other of plotting to collect the insurance value. The film is an underhanded, cynical, satirical poke at American materialism, pointless in the end because nothing is resolved. But the plot itself is secondary to the characters (ugly though they are), and rarely have two actors been better suited to their roles: McDowell's poor little rich girl routine is by now second nature, and Malkovich captures all the self-absorbed boredom of the ersatz upper class with his languid voice and steady reptilian gaze.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

many have missed the point-Possible spoilers

Author: cocreate
6 August 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I particularly have to disagree with a couple of reviews which see the deaf mute maid as unsympathetic, selfish and idiotic. She is the movie's emotional core, and the only character who has a true arc. Yes, she commits a selfish act, but she returns the statue when she realizes it was as wrong for her to take the statue from its owners as it was for her brother to take it from her. That is development of a kind the other characters don't have, and admittedly such a lack is a problem with this movie. Before one tosses aside her return of the statue as merely ethical on a childish level, consider what prompted her to take the statue in the first place: her first caress of the earless statue reveals a profound identification with it. In a world severely limited both by physical challenges and her economic situation, her opportunities to see herself as having any sort of beauty have obviously been rare to non-existent. Be certain that this statue is a full-strength totem object for her, rendered with the sensitivity of a master artist's hand. Out of a life so empty, the statue's return represents a genuine sacrifice of self. Then perhaps the "why anyone in this movie does what they do" problem becomes less vexing, at least with regard to one.

The movie's major mistake is ending with Jake and Tina, whom one suspects will never really change their habits or lifestyle even if they are talking about it, instead of giving us any idea what's to become of the maid, even (or perhaps especially) on an internal level.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I love this movie

Author: gabivali22 from Romania
15 April 2007

The Object of Beauty (1991) it has all that is needed for a movie to keep you interested I love it. Its funny, interesting and romantic kind of...and let's not forget who is playing : John Malkovich & Andie MacDowell I recommend it. Enjoy


American couple Jake and Tina are living in an expensive London hotel way beyond what they can afford. When they were asked to pay the bill, Jake wants to sell Tina's 20.000 pound Henry Moore sculpture, but she is not happy about that. The deaf-mute hotel maid admires the sculpture for its beauty rather than its value. When the sculpture goes missing, the couple start fighting over it... Written by Sami Al-Taher {}

Charming comedy about how a couple's relationship waivers in tandem with the disposition of their statuette. With no fixed abode, Jake and Tina live in hotels across the world. With a large bill due, and money in short supply, their plan to "steal" their Henry Moore statue and claim against it is thwarted when someone else steals it first! They soon start distrusting each other's motives as they search for the statue, and keep trying to get its valuation boosted while avoiding the bill. With no sign of it, they start to drift apart, despite being in love, and don't reconcile until it reappears one day - having been stolen by a deaf-mute maid, who feels the statue "spoke" to her. Written by Cynan Rees {}

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

hidden gem on the video shelf

Author: ( from charlottesville
8 January 1999

a smart, little chekhovian drama about greed and infidelity. malkovich and mcdowell play themselves: a cold, calculating bastard and a spoiled, falsely naive princess. a great little film that deserves to be mentioned more often.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A Comedy with Style *Possible Spoilers

Author: chinaskee from United States
10 June 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

John Malkovich and Andie McDowell play a couple of jet-setters who hatch a plot to steal their own statue so they can collect the insurance and pay off their ever-rising hotel and credit card bills.The chemistry between the two of them reminds one of William Powell and Myrna Loy.If they had picked up the pace a bit,they would have had a real classic comedy here.This film is highly watchable,though.The score by Tom Bahler fits the film like a glove.Lolita Davidovich's (as a girlfriend of McDowell's)performance is a bit too low key,but it doesn't really hurt the film that much.All in all,a pleasant way to kill a couple hours.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Definitely worth more than the 2 star rating given on Comcast Xfinity

Author: btm1 from United States
25 July 2014

John Malkovich (Jake) was really good looking in 1991 when he was 38. Andie MacDowell (Tina)was 33. In a nude scene from the rear and partial side she is drop dead gorgeous.

Jake and Tina are stylish, selfish and broke. He is a wheeler dealer who's latest gamble on a shipment of cocoa is a disaster, and his credit is maxed out. She owns, and adores, a small Henry Moore bronze figure of which only 9 were cast and then the mold was broken. It is their only thing of monetary value. She muses about reporting it stolen to collect on its insurance, but he says it is too risky. The sculpture goes missing. A deaf-mute hotel maid admired the sculpture for its beauty rather than its value. The plot thread about her is perhaps the heart of the film, but I enjoyed most of all the character development of Jake and Tina.

The film is a delightful exploration of how the two lovers deal with the disappearance. Spot on acting and directing. I loved it.

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