A retired ex-cop and private detective (Newman) who lives with a rich actor (Hackman) who is dying from cancer and his actress wife (Sarandon) gets mixed up in murder when he is asked to ... See full summary »
Romulus is mentally ill, a troglodyte in a New York City park. He's also a gifted composer and the father of a city cop. On Valentine's Day, a young man freezes in a tree near his cave. The police determine it's the accidental death of someone behaving bizarrely, but Romulus believes a friend of the dead youth who says that noted avant-garde photographer, David Leppenraub, murdered him. Romulus, urged on by hallucinations of his wife as a young woman, resolves to catch the killer and manages to be invited to Leppenraub's farm to play a new composition. Can Romulus hold it together long enough to get to the bottom of the death and also to make a breakthrough with his daughter? Written by
Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant supposedly resides at the top of the Chrysler Building. See more »
In one shot when Bob and Betty toast Romulus in his new suit, Bob's "z-ray" green drink is orange (though this may have been intentional, since it is unclear if the "z-rays" are simply in Romulus's mind). See more »
Don't you watch me! You think you're gonna crawl into my brain and see a show? That what I am? Is that what you think?
What I think, Mr. Ledbetter, is that the temperature is dropping.
I got freezing temperatures all over my brain. And I got legends of angels up there! Like little moths, and they'll beat the hell out of you with their wings!
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For "Billie" 1955-1999 - "love you baby. always have. always will." See more »
I picked this up in the video store not knowing what to expect and was I pleasantly surprised. This film is a real work of art and works on many levels. First, the direction is magnificent. Lemmons works magic blending reality with flashbacks, imaginings and fantasies. Weaving all these together is a true feat. This is a film one could watch without the sound just to appreciate the images.
Second, the arts that are portrayed are excellent, from the dancing to the music to the photography. Lemmons has a fantastic arts sense.
Third, the performances. Jackson is magnificent. A musician who cannot take the pressure of his career and of the context in which he must perform yet maintains his artistic sensibility. Like so many real people, his fears become externalized, but he still maintains a sense of his reality. And it is this sense which makes his character credible when it comes to the plot.
The plot is a good mystery but would have been hackneyed in lesser hands. And the plot works on at least two levels. Romulus may be crazy, but he knows what is going on and the images of his wife beautifully portrayed by Tamara Tunie keeps Romulus grounded. And since this is a character driven film, this conflict between Romulus's fears and fantasies with the realities he finds himself in, works beautifully thanks to Jackson's performance. On the second level the mystery qua mystery also works well. There are enough confusions to keep the viewer guessing.
All in all a great film.
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