6.7/10
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23 user 11 critic

The Moderns (1988)

R | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | May 1988 (USA)
A struggling artist is hired to forge paintings, causing him to cross paths with his ex-wife and her powerful new husband.

Director:

Alan Rudolph
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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Carradine ... Nick Hart
Linda Fiorentino ... Rachel Stone
Wallace Shawn ... Oiseau
Geneviève Bujold ... Libby Valentin (as Genevieve Bujold)
Geraldine Chaplin ... Nathalie de Ville
Kevin J. O'Connor ... Hemingway
John Lone ... Bertram Stone
Charlélie Couture Charlélie Couture ... L'Evidence (as Charlelie Couture)
Elsa Raven ... Gertrude Stein
Ali Giron ... Alice B. Toklas
Gailard Sartain ... New York Critic
Michael Wilson Michael Wilson ... Surrealist Poet
Robert Gould ... Blackie
Antonia Dauphin Antonia Dauphin ... Babette
Véronique Bellegarde Véronique Bellegarde ... Laurette (as Veronique Bellegarde)
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Storyline

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 measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les modernes See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,011,497
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nelson Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film critic Roger Ebert described this film as "...sort of a source study for the Paris of Ernest Hemingway in the 1920s; it's a movie about the raw material he shaped into 'The Sun Also Rises' and 'A Moveable Feast', and it also includes raw material for books by Gertrude Stein, Malcolm Cowley and Clifford Irving". See more »

Quotes

Oiseau: [while observing his own faked funeral] If it weren't for me, these people would think surreal was a breakfast food!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Mavericks (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is a Dreamer
(1929)
Performed by Josephine Baker
Written by Bud Green (as B. Green) and Sam H. Stept (as S.H. Stept)
Courtesy of E.M.I. Pathé Marconi / Capitol Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quirky, Fun, Interesting
21 January 2004 | by Dane (dane11)See all my reviews

Alan Rudolph does not make movies for everyone to see. His movies seem like personal projects that interest him at the time. Some of his movies I haven't been able to get involved in (Trixie, Mortal Thoughts, Afterglow) but with The Moderns, I was pulled in quickly. The story focuses on Keith Carradine's ex-patriot Nick Hart, a painter who has the ability to duplicate famous works of art with his brush. He's hired to create forgeries by Mademoiselle de Ville (Geraldine Chaplin).

But the story doesn't stop there. There are other ex-patriots around, including young Ernest Hemingway, comically portrayed by Kevin J. O'Connor; who is constantly drinking, philosophizing and pursuing women. It's not a flattering look at Hemingway, but somehow it adds to the whole ambience of the film and seems to ring true. And then there is Linda Fiorentino, a former lover of Nick's, and her husband, the rich and icy Bertram Stone (John Lone). The characters are odd and quirky, the story is uneven at times, and meanders a bit, but it is never boring. This movie has such style and depth that it pulls the viewer in, like we're trying to see the work that is under the painted canvas. That's what this movie is about -- the greater depth of art. What is art and what is crap? What is love and what is hate? What is real and what is illusion? As a director, Alan Rudolph pulls us along cleverly, with a hint of intrigue, the dichotomy of Nick's love and Hemingway's carousing, a taste of passion and the beauty of art. Then there are the characters who are well-layered works of art themselves. Maybe this movie isn't a masterpiece, but it leaves us chipping away at the paint trying to see what treasure is underneath. It's a movie to be enjoyed on many levels, just like a work of art.


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