Nick Hart is a struggling American artist who lives amongst the expatriate community in 1920s Paris. He spends most of his time drinking and socializing in local cafés and pestering gallery owner Libby Valentin to sell his paintings. He becomes involved in a plot by wealthy art patroness Nathalie de Ville to forge three paintings. This leads to several run-ins with American rubber magnate Bertram Stone, who happens to be married to Hart's ex-wife Rachel.Written by
I must admit Alan Rudolph's work is hard to either greatly admire or sternly criticize. He has become one of these directors, like David Cronenberg or Paul Verhooven, that some love and some despise. But, the reality is it is hard to know where such directors stand. I must say that my feeling that Rudolph's films were too much like his mentor Robert Altman's has been changed upon seeing "The Moderns." While I am a huge fan of Altman, it has been hard for me too admire directors that seem too merely imitate him. But, this film is much more surreal than anything that Altman has done, especially in recent years. The film also establishes a clear mood and setting. Rudolph also selects very solid shots throughout the film. If there has been one disadvantage of the cinema medium over stage, it is that the audience can not see an actor's immediate response to a given situation because the focus is on another character. But, here Rudolph lets you inside virtually each of the characters. The cast is also solid. Keith Carradine is at his best. It is a shame that he now apparently has to go to Iceland to find cinematic roles, but if one thinks Jeff Bridges is an underrated actor there is proof- at least in this film--- that Carradine has been overlooked even more. I also think Wallace Shawn is great here, which is amazing considering that I am NOT a fan of the film "My Dinner with Andre." And, lastly Mark Isham's score is brilliant in this film. It may not be a film for all tastes, and because of its simplistic nature it is understandable why this film gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to discussions about great films from the 80s. Nevertheless, I think it is a remarkable film if not for anything else it does prove that an American can make a great movie set in Paris, which is not a musical, even if it was (as this film was) shot in Montreal!
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this