As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.
New Yorkers Ouisa and Flan Kittredge are upper class private art dealers, pretentious but compassionate. Their prized possession is a double sided Kandinsky, one side that represents control, the other side chaos. They relay a story to their friends and acquaintances that over time becomes legendary. It is their encounter with a young black man who they had never met or heard of but who comes stumbling upon their front door one evening as they are courting an important investor, Geoffrey Miller, who could make them wealthy beyond what they could have dreamed. That black man is Paul Poitier, who has just arrived in the city, was just mugged outside their building and is sporting a minor knife wound to the abdomen. He is a friend of the Kittredge's children, who are attending Harvard, but more importantly is the son of actor/director Sidney Poitier. Tomorrow, Paul is meeting up with his father who is in town directing a movie of "Cats". Beyond the attraction of talking Paul into getting... Written by
Is anything gone?
How can I look, I'm shaking!
I want to know if anything's gone!
We could have been killed! Oh, my God! The Kandinsky!
It's gone, oh my God! Call the police!
Oh, no, there it is. Oh! The silver Victorian inkwell!
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'I want life to be experiences, not just anecdotes'
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION is an outstanding play transformed to the screen with dignity but with a script that keeps us in the live theatre instead of in a motion picture. Not that that is a bad thing: the script by John Guare is brilliant. It simply seems a little static, with its marvelous plays on words, repeated phrases, and disjointed movements significant unto themselves but not really taking advantage of cinematic possibilities of flow.
Essentially the tale of how a married couple who deal art (Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland - both in peak form) are so caught up in their superficial lives that they are taken in by a handsome young African American con artist (Will Smith) whose various antics bring the couple round to reexamining their shallow existence. Most of the story is related over art dealings and dinner conversations and are peopled by such luminaries as Kitty Carlisle, Ian McKellen, artists Chuck Close and Kazuko, Mary Beth Hurt, Bruce Davidson etc - a really fine ensemble. There are many social comments clustered in this story and it continues to play well after its origins on the stage and fifteen years after the movie was made. This was one of Will Smith's entries into film as well as one of the gifted Stockard Channing's finest roles. Highly recommended for repeated viewings. Grady Harp
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