Robert Altman's jazz-scored film explores themes of love, crime, race, and politics in 1930s Kansas City. When Blondie O'Hara's husband, a petty thief, is captured by Seldom Seen and held ... See full summary »
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
May is waiting for her boyfriend in a run-down American motel, when an old flame turns up and threatens to undermine her efforts and drag her back into the life that she was running away from. The situation soon turns complicated.
Harry Dean Stanton
Dr. Sullivan Travis "Dr. T." is a wealthy Dallas gynecologist for some of the wealthiest women in Texas who finds his idealist life beginning to fall apart starting when his wife, Kate, ... See full summary »
The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.
Lawyer Rick Magruder has a one-night-stand affair with caterer Mallory Doss. He becomes hooked on her, and when he learns her nut-case father Dixon is threatening her, he puts the weight of... See full summary »
Robert Downey Jr.
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
Karl Lagerfeld successfully blocked the film's release in Germany by launching a lawsuit against the makers over a line spoken by Forest Whitaker's character calling Lagerfeld a thief. In the end, the film was released with the word "thief" masked by a beep. See more »
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.
See more »
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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