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I just watched this movie again, after having seen it twice before in 1996-97. It hasn't held up particularly well. It steals a lot from Hitchcock (the "I had the dream again" key phrase from "Rebecca", the superficial psychoanalysis from "Marnie", the setting of the climax from "Vertigo"), but Phil Joanou's direction is, for the most part, static. The two leads, Gere and Basinger, do a solid but routine job in their roles; it's the secondary characters who give this film a life of its own: Eric Roberts (an outstanding performance) as the edgy husband, Uma Thurman as the patient (whose character is the only one who remains an enigma right to the end), the detective who keeps making insinuations, Gere's colleague who gets panicky when he has to testify, etc. If nothing else, Joanou shows a talent for allowing his actors to do their stuff. (**1/2)
I am overcompensating here, this should really be a 9/10 but I am so
annoyed by the lack of taste shown by the ratings at IMDb that I feel
the 1 extra credit is fair enough. I have actually lost all hope of
people choosing wisely and making good suggestions on films...Hollywood
has made a science out of aiming for the lowest common denominator
anyway and making trillions.
It would be great if we could comment comment on an existing review at imd, such as the one by some "licensed clinical psychologist" which has been been chosen as spotlight review. Now this fella in all his psychotherapeutic wisdom acts like a 5 year old and takes this film literally and passes judgment on Gere's character's psychiatric practices. Is he nuts? It's a damn film for Christ's sake, and a neo noir!!! Of course the shrink will cross the "boundaries" with his patients and act unprofessionally and "needily", he's supposed to be setting up a drama. Let alone that these things ALSO happen in real life. Drama's are not set up by shrinks who act according to AMA rules and psychiatric ethics. To pass judgment on the film on such grounds is like saying that Dumbo is not supposed to fly because elephants don't. PLEASE, IMDb, take this review off the front page,it's insulting.
OK. on with the review: THIS IS A GREAT NEO NOIR FILM, ACTUALLY IT'S PROBABLY THE BEST NEO NOIR AND ONE OF THE BEST CRIME/SUSPENSE/LOVE DRAMA FILMS I VE WATCHED.
Why? The plot is intelligent, it has plenty of twists, and surprisingly very few holes in it (that ANY neo noir or crime thriller for that matter even David Mammet is going to have). Even the more clever viewers are going to miss some of the twists and they won't see them coming. But anyway most here complained that it went to fast for them...may I suggest they use a staple of the modern DVD/blue ray/VCR the pause button and reflect in the interim pause...The script is also highly emotionally charged. Of course that's happening within the confines of its genre, it's not a film heavy on realism but provided you abide by the codes of the noir, there's plenty of pain here, shame, longing, distrust, antagonism, hate, love, friendship not only involving the main characters but every single minor character too. It's also very NUANCED which I suspect is why the film warrants the "this film sucks" comment gracing the boards.
All characters are very conflicted, very human, you can't pin them down to a simpleton archetype, the good doc, the manipulative patient, say, because they all have their blind spots and conflicts. I am sure a lot of people will hate this -why's the script writer messing about-, he or she should be acting in this a to b to c predictable way. Yet this is what makes the film so great, far better than the Hitchkokian bore it alludes to.
THE CAST IS ALSO GREAT, EVERYONE. They all nail down their roles to the tee. And then you have the main trio, Richard Gere and Kim Basinger in their prime, and Uma Thurman in one of her budding roles. What else does one want from the lead roles in film? First of all they are all stunning. Now that might not mean much to most in, and it doesn't mean anything to me either most of the time, but these three are not just good looking, they are gifted. They all have a once in thirty years in film charm to them. Seriously folks has their been a more charming lead than the good Buddhist Richard Gere, after Brando, and maybe coming close to him Mickey Roorke and Johny Depp. Who? Mat f. Damon? Gere has such a tender yet tough face, I won't do him justice describing his charisma here in a small review. Anyone who's got eyes can see. And so is Kim, I re-watched the film recently and after all the Scarlett Johansens and Kate Hudsons we 've seen recently you can tell that Hollywood has dropped the ball big time... look at the nineties they had Kim, and Madeleine Stowe, and Jessica Lange and, and, and...this are dirt poor times wrt to actresses' talent.
Kimmie is just fantastic here, the tone of her voice, the understated performance, she oozes charm with a mere glance. He chemistry with Mr. Gere is like hand and glove too. And she's a way, way underrated actress. This girl is up there with the top stars of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, she's a Marilyn. She plays a very complex character here and there's not a single scene where she's not mesmerizing...An all too brief nod -for no other reason than brevity for this review- to Uma and the rest of the cast, I ll just say that the scenes with Uma on the couch have such a suspenseful and seductive mood, the way she phrases her dream and looks at the shrink, Uma another natural talent.
I also really liked the directing here but the 1000 word limit calls. I loved the motifs: the lighthouse, the promise of love, the chance that love and truth above all can undo the damage, the remorseless nature of damage being done and perpetuated. Those who've watched the film will know what I mean, and I am not giving anything away to those who haven't. Last but not least I find George Fenton's score excellent, a really intricate part of the whole film. Maybe it could have been a bit more risky and less classic, but I think this austerity and measured portions of predictability and inventiveness only add to this very classy and elegant film which to me is a lost gem.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What might have been even more effective with a better script is this dark
melodrama which seems to borrow heavily from past psychological
melodramas--particularly those films of Hitchcock which rely on such
settings as the final showdown between Gere and Basinger. Camera effects in
the lighthouse spiral staircase seem to borrow from the bell tower scene in
Hitch's "Vertigo". As does the use of San Francisco settings--but lacking
is a score such as Bernard Herrmann supplied or a script that makes the
events seem credible.
Kim Basinger does well enough as the woman behind the mysterious plot but never manages to be entirely convincing when the plot calls for heavy dramatics. Richard Gere almost sleep walks through his role. But Uma Thurman and Eric Roberts deliver what can only be described as "creepy" portraits that linger in the mind after the film ends. And end it does on a bravura note with a raging thunderstorm and a return visit to the lighthouse under more dire circumstances the second time.
The final scene is Thurman's big moment. But it all has the air of deja vu thanks to all those psychological thrillers of the '40s that got even better effects when filmed in glorious B&W.
I don't really understand why this film has such a low rating. Most of the movie is very good. The story, the acting and the cinematography are very good. The story also has a lot of plot twists and the acting is very good. The screenplay is quite intelligent. Only the end is a bit less good, and that's a pity, because this could have been a masterpiece. The end is a bit stupid. Phil Joanou did a good job directing this film. It's a pity this film doesn't get a higher rating on IMDb. Richard Gere, Kim Basinger and Uma Thurman do a good job too. I recommend this film. It's not a masterpiece, but it's certainly not bad.
This film, if analyzed visually is quite interesting, and the addition
of a distinguished Richard Gere and still- beautiful Kim Basinger
doesn't hurt, either.
The sets are reminiscent of Hitchcock's "Vertigo"; there is even a scene with violets, right out of Freudian analysis, which Gere translates for his unsuspecting patient.
Uma Thurman is Basinger's younger sister, there is a murder accusation, Eric Roberts as the abusive husband, ends up being murdered. (This part was a bit too formulaic; mob ties again) but Roberts also gives a believable performance.
While you may have to ignore basic logic, if you enjoy the actors, this film is worthwhile. For some reason Basinger is better in under-stated roles, and Richard Gere transcends the material, and is interesting to watch. 8/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Final Analysis" is a moody and stylish psychological thriller in which
murder, manipulation and deceit figure strongly and the numerous plot
twists just keep on coming, right up to the final scene. It's also one
of the most visually stunning neo-noirs ever made and in this context,
the contributions of art director Dean Tavoularis and cinematographer
Jordan Cronenweth are very significant and worthy of high praise.
The opening credit sequence immediately makes it clear that "Final Analysis" is influenced both in its style and content by some of the great film noirs of the past (most notably "Vertigo" but also to a lesser extent "Double Indemnity" and "A Place In The Sun") and in common with these types of movies, it contains a typically gullible man, numerous double crosses and characters with unclear motives who may not be all that they seem.
Dr Isaac Barr (Richard Gere) is an eminent psychiatrist who regularly acts as an expert defence witness in court cases where the accused pleads insanity in order to avoid a heavy sentence. At the same time, in his private practice, he has a patient called Diana Baylor (Uma Thurman) who is seeking his help because she's struggling to deal with some traumatic childhood memories. Diana suggests that it may help the progress of her treatment if Dr Barr could discuss some aspects of her background with her sister. Barr is initially reluctant to take up Diana's suggestion but when he subsequently meets her sister, Heather Evans (Kim Basinger), the couple soon become involved in a passionate affair.
Heather is unhappily married to a sadistic gangster called Jimmy Evans (Eric Roberts) and also suffers from a condition called "pathological intoxication" which makes her become crazy and violent when she consumes even a very small amount of alcohol. When she attacks Jimmy and kills him and her medical condition is a factor, Dr Barr uses his expertise and connections to save her from the full force of the law. Unfortunately for the doctor, this success is no consolation for the trouble that he encounters when he starts to realise that he may have been set up to be the fall guy as the missing murder weapon could provide evidence of his involvement in the crime.
Richard Gere is very suave and self assured as the very successful doctor who's used to being given a great deal of respect. Consistent success and respect can make those who are not vigilant develop an excess of pride and arrogance and can in turn have an adverse effect on their judgement. Dr Barr goes off the rails spectacularly when he gets involved with Heather and breaches the rules of his profession without any apparent concern.
Kim Basinger and Uma Thurman are both good as the treacherous and devious sisters and Eric Roberts is especially effective as the vicious and fiercely jealous victim.
This glamorous thriller is well written with some very quotable lines and is extremely easy of the eye. It's thoroughly absorbing, great fun to watch and should be regarded as essential viewing for all neo-noir fans.
I will have to warn you that I have not seen Hitchcock 's films
Psycho . So I don 't know if the accusations made that Final Analysis
is a hitchcockian rip off are true . I have already stated and I will
say that if this movie is a rehash it was a very good and effective one.
I will not give away much about the plot because the less you know
the better . Basically a psychiatrist called Isaac Bahr
Gere) is treating an enigmatic girl called Diana (Uma Thurman) .
he meets her beautiful sister Heather (Kim Basinger) to
about the family history" but due to mutual attraction it is
that they soon "hit the sheets" . Unfortunately their affair puts
both in jeopardy since Heather is married to a dangerous gangster
Jimmy (Eric Roberts) . You can never guess what is going to happen
since the script has many plot twists marvellously executed (and not
impression like in "Wild Things" ) . Just when you think that the movie
over something happens and here we go again .
I will have to tell you that I have seen the film 6 or so
and even I know the plot 's surprises I am still enthrilled . Why ?
of the powerful characters and the noir-ish direction . Eric Roberts and
Basinger are beyond adequate and memorable . Richard Gere is a very
underrated actor and here he gives one of his best performance . Do not
listen to cynical comments that he will never convince you as a
and his choise is utterly unrealistic .
(Baywatch appears only thin and well shaped bodies as swimmers on the
beaches but the truth is that 50 % of USA people are fat so I
that there has to be at least one shrink with good looks somewhere
I also read comments from a prof who says that a REAL shrink would never
this ...or that ... etc . If this is accurate and if everyone
worked as a prof we would live in a perfect society . It is so
saying that a prof would never sleep with a patient or discuss his
with others . Then no doctor would commit abortions , right
Anyway it is probably Uma Thurman who steals the show as
mysterious Diana . She was a right choice for a disordered person
she has the blurr disorientated look on her eyes . Beyond the
the characters are well written . The script has good lines . The
cinematography and the music play a crucial part for the film noir
atmosphere . It is a very good try and definately worths a look from
thriller fans .
FINAL ANALYSIS 8.5 / 10
Richard Gere and Kim Basinger reunite from 1986's mediocre "No Mercy" for this outlandish, just-as-shallow would-be murder mystery. Occasionally enjoyable, fruity concoction concerns psychiatrist Gere becoming involved with two sexy sisters who are hoping to formulate the perfect murder plot. Lots of story twists, each one more preposterous than the last, but with a slick production and a fine climax atop a lighthouse. Gere looks a bit ill-at-ease, but Basinger and Uma Thurman are both very good. Eric Roberts is eliminated early (a plus), but Keith David flounders in the hopeless role of the detective on the sisters' trail. For viewers in the requisite silly spirit, not too bad. ** from ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kind of disappointing considering the cast -- Richard Gere as the
morally upright but slightly imprudent psychiatrist, Uma Thurman as his
"caterpillar" patient, and Kim Basinger as Thurman's seductive older
To help him understand Thurman's problems, Gere seeks out Basinger and winds up making furious love to her on their first date. You ought to see them, rutting around like two sea lions in heat. If that isn't disgusting, I don't know what is. The scene's only redeeming feature is that Kim Basinger isn't particularly modest. The two were my supporting players in the tasteful and artistic "No Mercy," and I had to practically carry them through the movie.
Basinger, lamentably, is married to one of those narcissistic, madly possessive Circum-Mediterranean gangsters who has muscles all over his body as well as inside his head. This is Eric Roberts in his perfect evil greaseball mode. He dominates Basinger and makes her do humiliating sexual things, which is perhaps his one good idea before she bashes his head in with one of his own dumb bells.
It seems she suffers from "pathological intoxication." One sip of alcohol and she becomes violently psychotic, and she had innocently sipped some alcohol-based cough medicine just before the homicide. Gere helps her shape her defense, brings in his friend, Paul Guilfoyle, to serve as her lawyer, and she gets off with a "not guilty by reason of temporary insanity." Thereafter, it gets twisted.
A little too twisted if you ask me. By the end I could hardly tell who was who or what was what.
It's pretty thrilling all the way through. It's just that it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense. Thurman's character begins in cahoots with her sister, then betrays her, then helps her escape from the funny farm, then takes over her identity and murderous quirks. Why? It would take more than a shrink to determine that. It would require a mind reader, or maybe a rabidly commercial screenwriter.
It's nicely acted and the location photography is picturesque -- San Francisco at its most glorious, the Golden Gate Bridge is in every other shot.
But it's cheap too. The director uses every cliché in the book regardless of whether they fit together. The climax at the top of a light house has the railing collapsing and Gere dangling over the crashing breakers -- in a howling electrical storm the likes of which Point Reyes has never seen. The fulsome orchestral score belongs to the genus Slasher.
And, as I say, the plot is dizzying and at times makes no sense. Okay. Basinger is accused of murder, which she has in fact committed. The only question is whether a condition called "pathological intoxication" exists or not. The prosecution calls an expert witness, a haughty woman psychiatrist with a bony face and a foreign accent. She declares that the condition does not exist except in the minds of defense counsels. Why doesn't she believe there is any such thing? Because there is no physical evidence. It doesn't show up in brain scans or blood tests, she points out. An experienced defense attorney would have jumped all over her and asked if there were any "physical evidence" that schizophrenia exists. There isn't, but nobody can deny that the condition is real.
Anyway, in a sense, it's an exciting movie and soothing too, watching cliché follow cliché while common sense flies out the window. Kind of a ritualistic experience, like listening to a meaningless but reassuringly familiar pop tune.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie has some promising elements. There is a premeditated murder
plot with some intricacy, twists, and atmosphere. Kim Basinger is good
playing a beautiful mystery woman with a troubled past and an exotic,
violent illness ("pathological intoxication"). She conveys soft, placid
(if overly simple) beauty one minute and psychotic rage the next,
rivaling Catherine Zeta-Jones' in "Traffic" in her ability to turn
memorably driven, tough, and hard-hearted on a dime.
Uma Thurman looks and acts her slight part adequately enough as Basinger's delicate, spaced-out sister, a patient of Richard Gere. Paul Guilfoyle hams it up as a boorish criminal defense lawyer pal of Gere's. A police detective is tough, crude, and menacing, on cue (barking at Gere, "Don't yank my dick").
But the film collapses under the weight of its many flaws. Gere is completely unconvincing as an "eminent psychiatrist." This has less to do with how he looks than how the movie presents him. He never says or does anything to credibly establish such a character. His attempts seem limited to occasionally speaking in jargon or hushed tones. He appears gullible and ignorant, as when it takes someone else's lecture to tip him off by chance to a colorful passage in Freud's work that is key to the criminal's scheme; even one of the plotters had expected Gere to be familiar with it. His supposedly joking answer to Basinger that as a psychiatrist he simply repeats, as a question, whichever last two words his patient speaks -- "'Your mother?'" -- hits a little too close to home. It is a truer description of how Gere comes across here than he thinks. Nor does the film give any background that might help explain the personal vulnerability that makes him such a dupe. The character is little more than a dim, steady facial expression and a resume.
Thurman's character amounts to no more than a stagey plot gimmick. She never comes alive as a real person with a real relationship to anyone. The prosecutor is played with gruff style and no substance by Harris Yulin. He is given so little to say and do, and the character accomplishes so little, if anything, that I could not even find him listed in the credits.
Even worse is the Eric Roberts character, Basinger's intense husband with mob ties. It is a tired, superficial, trying caricature that drags the movie down to the level of countless low-budget, rip-off "romantic thrillers." The unoriginal character and portrayal recall cinematic gems like "Play Murder for Me" and "Dead On" (both with Tracy Scoggins), "Tryst" (with Barbara Carrera), and probably dozens of other "abusive husband" exploitation flicks and TV show episodes (ala "Silk Stalkings").
The weaknesses in the characters are only compounded by the weaknesses in the story. The plot flaws become so damaging and distracting that they sap entertainment value right out of the film. Watching the movie becomes like trying to drive a stick-shift down a road full of sink-holes (the film does feature a "ditch"). The abrupt, midstream shift in tone and pacing does not help.
No explanation is ever offered for how the killer was able, in real time, to "hide" the murder weapon from the police - don't they search a crime scene? don't they have search warrants for other hiding places? And this is a plot point that drives most of the movie.
We are supposed to believe that the prosecutor would proceed with a first degree murder trial not only without a murder weapon but without establishing the accused's motive, not even bothering to investigate until afterward exactly who was in line to receive a $4 million payout.
We are supposed to believe that Gere can install himself on the psychiatric board responsible for evaluating the fitness for release from an institution of his own, indefinitely confined lover.
We are supposed to believe -- and cheer -- that two outside professionals would arrive for an interview without introducing themselves or their reason for being there, and that another character would suddenly switch a lifelong allegiance, all so that Gere can stage an elaborate trick on someone he later acknowledges is mentally ill from childhood abuse, only apparently to arrange an even more haphazard, convoluted, and contrived manipulation later by behaving cavalierly and roughly to a patient.
We are supposed to believe that murderers can walk out of mental institutions simply by switching clothes with someone else in a bathroom.
We are supposed to believe that Gere would enlist a psychiatric patient to steal for him, without giving any warnings or taking any precautions to protect the young man from the vicious homicidal maniac with whom this puts him at odds (to compensate for this colossal error, the movie prematurely discloses the man's fate, creating a witness and another potential crime to prosecute and thus undercutting the suspense of whether the killer of the earlier victim will escape unpunished).
We are supposed to believe, for the sake of a quick, shock-effect touch at the end, that, after two court trials had thoroughly publicized the events of the case, a character at its heart would appear to be recycling the exact same modus operandi for future use. And so on.
The movie suffers badly under the relentless battering of these accumulated character and plot problems. Simply dismissing them with an air of glib pseudo-sophistication, all-knowing cynicism, empty flippancy, or lazy, unintelligent flicking of the "not helpful" button on any review honest enough to point them out is not a serious response. Nor do they simply disappear because the movie inserts some attractive visuals, such as of bridges and lighthouses, or ramps up dramatic music (somewhat frantically and mechanically, starting about halfway through). Any meaningful review has to come to terms not only with the elements of the movie that are promising and likable but with the substantial flaws that prevent it from being satisfying.
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