A woman's lover leaves her, and she tries to contact him to find out why he's left. She confronts his wife and son, who are as clueless as she. Meanwhile her girlfriend is afraid the police... See full summary »
A fashion show in Paris draws the usual bunch of people; designers, reporters, models, magazine editors, photographers. Lots of unconnected stories which all revolve around this show, and an all-star cast. Written by
In the hotel room, Anne Eisenhower lifts a glass of wine from Joe Flynn's dining cart with her left hand and takes a drink. Joe makes a comment and it can be seen that Anne's left arm is up to her face (she is visible from the chest down), but when we cut back to Anne the glass is in her right hand as she puts it down. See more »
[subtitled version - opening lines are in French, the English subtitles are a very rough translation]
Olivier de la Fontaine:
Moscow? What's this about? Put that on the desk. Dear Mr. de la Fontaine: blah, blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah, blah...
Isabella de la Fontaine:
Robin. Robin. I told you not to! It's dirty. You shouldn't do that. Not in the house.
[to Olivier de la Fontaine]
Isabella de la Fontaine:
You're a shit.
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The film's opening scene where Mastroianni buys the 2 Dior ties is set in Moscow's Red Square and the first 2 lines of credits (a Miramax production and a Robert Altman film) appear solely in Cyrillic characters See more »
An amusing shaggy-dog story, Emperor's New Clothes variety
It's hard to understand why so many reputable critics have vilified this film, which is in Altman's Nashville modeand indeed includes many of the elements that made that earlier film such a critical success. Both address the hypocrisy and viciousness of a big money-making industry, by interweaving a number of loosely connected stories acted by a large celebrity cast. Some of these stories work better than others, in both films; as a previous reviewer noted, in Pret-à-Porter, they all hinge on the central theme of betrayal, with a cumulative effect that is saddening as well as amusing.
The principal difference between the two films lies in the way they end. Nashville is closed off (to my mind, unconvincingly) by an assassination at a political rally. Ready to Wear ends with a breathtakingly beautiful, even erotic acting-out of the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, where almost none of the fashion-industry types realize that the bankrupt designer has clothed all of her models in...nothing. The only one who does get the joke is the clueless and incompetent reporter (Kim Basinger, from Texas, doing a fine retake on Geraldine Chaplin's annoying role in Nashville), who stalks off in a huff.
Apparently lots of critics stalked off in a huff, too. That's too bad, since the film has lots of good qualities. But you miss the point if you don't realize that it's all leading up to that big shaggy-dog-story punchline.
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