Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993) Poster

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Contemplating the meaning of the illusive 'it'...
mattserendipity29 March 2001
A film which manages to perfectly sum up the dilemma encompassed by the so-called Generation X: a generation that has never had it better, and has it all for the taking - if only they could figure out just what 'it' is.

Nick (Tim Roth) carries the momentum of this notion, claiming that what he wants "isn't in here, and it isn't out there...", yet he regardless embarks on a voyage to Butte, Montana which is rumoured to be the City of the Future: "I read that a while ago, so the future's probably already there".

Much of the film is concentrated on the aftermath of his departure, and in particular his decision to leave his girlfriend Beth (Bridget Fonda)behind in Arizona. Beth now must reach a similar decision in Nick's absence, finally deciding what 'she' wants as opposed to the wants of those around her (namely Nick). Also involved in this tangle of relationships are Nick's ex-lover and Beth's best friend (Phoebe Cates), and a painter (Eric Stoltz) whose introduction to the situation further complicates Beth's thinking.

The film, like Glengarry Glenn Ross, is based on a stage play and this is evident in the minimum of locations employed and heavy emphasis on dialogue. However, this is really quite satisfying as characters are allowed to express and develop far much more than is customary in other such, so-called 'soul-searching' films.

Stand-out performances from Fonda and Roth, and an intelligent script.
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9/10
Time and Place
williamcone197513 August 2003
This movie is in a category I like to call time and place. It has a very powerful resonance with someone who is experiencing a similar dilemma. For me I originally watched it when it came out and thought the dialogue was well-paced and witty and the acting from Fonda, Roth, and Cates was superb. I recently watched the film again, because I had somewhat grown into its situation. Needless to say it was nearly poetic in a way. That western landscape and feeling of restlessness... My only major complaint was the scoring was a little tedious at times.
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9/10
Mall Rats Meet Mamet
traceytoney3 January 2006
Bodies, Rest and Motion is an entertaining, well shot, well acted and well written film. Yes, as the title suggests, it is "philosophical", but it is certainly not dry or pretentious. The twists and turns used to sneak the "philosophy" into the mouths of the characters are fantastically clever. (Reminds me of Mamet.) However, this dialog is so well written that it fits perfectly into the mouths of these characters. This film can be watched two ways: as a slacker diary similar to Dazed and Confused, Clerks or Mall Rats or as a language-driven meditation on love, fidelity and ambition (lack thereof).

I've read reviews that call this film pretentious. I suspect that those reviewers don't appreciate that film can be linguistically creative and intellectually stimulating while still being fun. However, I feel that one of the reasons that this film was overlooked was that it was classified as a romantic comedy. Do not go into this film looking for "You've Got Mail" or "Down with Love". Also, don't go into this film looking for a hero to cheer for (though you might just find one).

Judge for yourself: Would Eric Stolz, Phoebe Cates, Tim Roth and Bridgett Fonda lend their colossal talents to pretentious garbage? If you're a writer, screenwriter or poet, then snag a copy of the script. Like Mamet's work, this script is well worth the read just to savor the writer's talent for making seemingly mundane dialog speak volumes.

This is a very under-rated and under-appreciated film!
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9/10
A movie about going nowhere fast
snazin23 December 2002
I found the plot of the movie very character driven. Instead of give a plot it gave a lot of emphasis on how each character felt. No one really changed in the movie, situations just changed. I liked the style of the movie because it felt very real. The movie moved along at a steady enough pace, with a mellow tone the whole time. The ending was less than revealing and everything was left how it started, somewhat out of place.
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7/10
thoughtful, if you're in the mood for thought
katxo2 August 2003
If you have an attention span of sit-com-length, this is not your movie. True, it's 90 minutes or so, but those moments are stretched- as they should be. Sid's character (the sage, of sorts) wants to stretch a moment, and that is what this movie seeks to do. For the most part, these characters are ordinary people- and the actors play them as such. The dialogue isn't expository, but it's real- the characters interact as any person would. There are no huge turning points, explosions, love-struck stares, and all the rest of the hollywood spin supposed to be "real." These are people who could live down the street.

The best part, though, was the cinematography- the camera work is beautiful. There are just enough jump cuts to get your attention, but for the most part, the camera frames these ordinary lives without intruding on them, all while capturing the oranges, reds, and warm whites of the Arizona landscape.

While the character of the painter is supposed to be a sage- offering wise comments about identity and humanity, I was relieved when his mistakes/flaws were finally revealed at the end. All-in-all, the symbols and stress points made for a thoughtful movie.
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6/10
Irrelevant & Mildly Entertaining 6/10
The_Wood1 March 2002
Bodies, Rest & Motion is the type of film that you stumble onto on cable one night, you recognize some of your favorite actors in it, so you decide to watch. I didn't get much out of this film. I have always loved Bridget Fonda and Tim Roth is one of my favorite actors -- I feel the film gave them a lot of material to work with. Great acting -- I even found Eric Stoltz to be moving.

The story is not really there -- the film is more about human interaction; goals; and love. Not a picture worth seeking out, but fans of these actors might enjoy it.
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9/10
Excellent indie film with real-life couple as leads
williamsbros18 December 2004
"sex, lies and videotape" doesn't really have much on this film, except for a more prurient twist. Like Steven Soderbergh's seminal indie hit, "Bodies, Rest and Motion" is an intelligent drama dealing with life as a twentysomething in middle (and middle-class) America. It's tightly written, excellently acted and doesn't sound a false note along the way, except for perhaps the mystical scene in the young redhead's house when Tim Roth goes searching for his estranged parents. But that's a small quibble. Revisit this lost gem, which showcases Eric Stoltz's best role and performance, and his real-life lover at the time, Bridget Fonda, as the put-upon Olive Garden waitress who always seems to pick the wrong guy -- this time Roth as a morally bankrupt Circuit City salesman. Phoebe Cates is just right as Roth's ex-lover turned neighbor, who forgives him everything, except perhaps his treatment of Fonda.
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One of my favorite movies
joe38_199830 August 2003
Despite the little attention this movie has gotten, and the varied, sporadic comments and reviews, "Bodies, Rest and Motion" is the most wonderful thing I have seen in years. The four actors (Fonda, Stoltz, Cates, and Roth) could not do better to bring to us a very subtle, touching, and elegant portrayal of loves come and gone and lives living on threads. There's no action here, and very little actually happens, but the dialogue and the attention to details are so strong, you find you don't need anything more; you can simply revel in each actors' beauty and condition. You have to watch this movie more than once, and you have to cry at times, it's that good. I'm scratching my head why this movie did not make greater acclaim. Either I'm going mental, or the world is just missing out.
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5/10
Pointless-Counterpointless
wrcong7 September 2005
I stumbled across this little piece of fluff on IFC television last night. It had a cast worth checking, so in spite of IFC's unhopeful two star rating, I settled in to watch. What an odd little film.

The actor's performances were good -- very natural in terms of their interactions and relationships. The pace was a tad slow -- while I don't think movies need fist fights and explosions to create pace, a dialog-intensive film needs to beware of ......................... long..................................pauses. Still, that is a minor criticism in my view. If that was the only flaw in the film, I could and would have given it a higher rating because for the most part the actors handled those dialogic gaps pretty well.

The worse problem with this film was its failure in my view to address the fundamental "So what?" question. I was never given any reason to care a whit about any of these characters, with the limited exception of Beth (Bridget Fonda) whom I was hoping would get the hell out of Enfield. After she left, I rooted for her not be found by the pseudo-intellectual painter, Sid. Beth had made a couple of very bad choices, with the amoral Nick (Tim Roth) and the vacuous pop-psychologist, Sid, so I was rooting for her to stick to her guns, enjoy the moments of pleasure she had with Sid, and get away before her brain turned entirely to mush. Either Nick or Sid would have destroyed her: Nick with his amoral outlook and lack of direction; Sid with his pretensions of profundity that he used to shield his fundamental lack of imagination and ambition.

Still, I didn't care a helluva lot about Beth either. She made the right decision (finally), but her escape was not a complete triumph because for all we know she fell into yet another destructive relationship with some other needy weirdo two towns over.

All of these characters, in the end, were drifting along in pointless situations. With a film so lacking in plot, brevity was important and, thankfully, present. If this movie had pushed toward the two-hour mark, it would have been an utter waste of time unless the time had been used to give the viewer a reason to care about this crew of self-indulgent dim-wits.
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10/10
MIND BLOWING REALISM
ANDREWSHELLOIL13 February 2001
Like American Beauty this movie reveals the lives of many people in our society although just a movie like the afore mentioned film it is closer to the truth than many wish to talk about...lost souls ...lost chances...lost directions.

It's funny yet depressing but with a possible positive future for the characters. The ending leaves you on a cliff looking for the answers to the mess created by the characters actions .Tim Roth is a true genius hence Lucky Numbers (excellent) and Pheobe Kates plays the part oh so well not to mention being her sexy self.

This is Drama but provides escapism though the sad and sometimes pathetic lives of others
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8/10
A really sweet movie
Angeneer10 December 1999
I'm not for all those superficial cry baby movies. This is different. It touches you directly right there in your chest. A real character study with great performances (all four of them, but allow me to have a preference to Tim Roth). The ending is just wonderful! See it! A proud 8.
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4/10
Hasn't enough on its mind...and the women outclass the men
moonspinner5517 August 2005
Middling adaptation of Roger Hedden's play about four twentysomethings in small Arizona town trying to find some truth in their lives. Acting showcase for Eric Stoltz, Bridget Fonda, Phoebe Cates and Tim Roth is surprisingly uneventful--and mercilessly slow-moving. Performances by Fonda and Cates outclass the men, with Roth a real irritant as a feckless drifter (of course, the character as written isn't exactly a charmer). Some of the dialogue is sharp and there are interesting bits and pieces. Stoltz also co-produced, and the small budgeted film has a very stylish, quasi-surreal look that bolsters the limp action. ** from ****
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7/10
like watching paint dry, but with Bridget Fonda as your host
RavenGlamDVDCollector18 October 2015
If Bridget hosted a nature conservation documentary dealing with dung-beetles, I'd buy the DVD. That said, if this one dealt with that subject, surely there'd be, like, say, these two territorial dung-beetles clamoring for a better chunk of the pie, and we'd have some intriguing development, which would make for better viewing than this drawn-out navel-gazer drama? I'm kidding. But not too much...

I saw it years ago, and what with Bridget's popularity here on the ElectricLadyLand screen, especially LEATHER JACKETS, reviewed some 16 months ago, I remembered that I was much enthralled with her beauty in this movie, though I couldn't remember the flick itself at all. Watching it tonight, I realize that there is naught else to remember. Had she not been in it, I wouldn't have signed up for the damn thing. Now, just as back then, I was only after Bridget.

Don't get me wrong. If your heart is opened to Bridget, you'd also notice that this movie is more than the sum of its parts. It's actually good, but if you notice the general gist of the other reviewers here, most guys will get restless because of the slow build-up.

LEATHER JACKETS might be an atrocious movie, but give me Bridget styled as she looks in that one, not SINGLE WHITE FEMALE. The movie that elevated her for me personally was that lowly one that all film critics take a p*** on.

Once again, just as it was with LEATHER JACKETS, Bridget takes what little material she has at her disposal, and weaves it elegantly, making the absolute most of it. She possesses a natural grace and charm that shines through in all her work (though I must confess that I've only seen her earlier movies, and then also JACKIE BROWN). The lady is classic, truer words I cannot speak. That close- up tear-filled red-eyed scene is THE Bridget Fonda moment, congratulations to both her and the director. Later on there is that closeup of her lovely face as she receives cunnilingus from her real-life boyfriend, and also, that scene beloved by Quentin Tarantino (and myself!) where she joyously, gloriously, cutely replies "good" with a musical lilt to his statement that he wants to be inside her. Not forgetting that other great shot towards the end of her performance, another closeup scene, in the bathroom. That little, little exasperated sound, that slight twitch of the nose... Bridget was what celebrity appeal was about during the 90s.

Bridget fans, do rent LEATHER JACKETS and BODIES, REST & MOTION. For nothing else but for the sake of just sitting back and feasting your eyes on the Hollywood Princess, and going "Wow, man! She is like really, really pretty!" (sigh, heartfelt long, drawn-out sigh)

Special mention to Alicia Witt as Elizabeth, the wistfully pretty redhead kid who has a seminal, though short- lived part in the movie.

Okay, boys, the little joke's over now. Where did you hide the last roll of film? So, this is an indie movie, no happy ending as studio execs would have prescribed. Still, you leave it at that point? Come on, in the spirit of the title, get off your butt!

If you are watching this on a stay-at-home night on cable, you are most likely in for a boring evening. But if you are a Bridget Fonda fan, or just of pretty actresses in general, in for a treat. Deep, soulful movie? There are hundreds better. But they don't have Bridget in them.
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10/10
Its a movie about values
lekso-mmm31 January 2007
A very good movie. Its about philosophy of life and relationships between man and woman. And of cause Bridget Fonda - she is my favorite actress. OK, my English is a bit unorthodox and poor, but I'll add more comments. The movie is about making a choice in your live. And this depends on your philosophy of life and priorities you've got. But it comes the time when love demands you to change your lifestyle. Its about people around us with absolutely different philosophy and values. And sometimes its good to listen to them. Maybe we are wrong and they are right. The movie is about the clash of two different lifestyle - and both lose in the end. It's about - what we really are looking for in this life. I saw this movie a few years ago and still have a feeling of something very kind, very sweet and very deep. Its a movie not for your mind, but for your heart.
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Drifting Love
tedg3 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Sometimes — and I think it is often with sculptural films — the essence of the movie is concentrated in a few elements.

There is a lot of surrounding story here, but it is there for only two things. These are things that need that context to have power.

The surrounding story is pretty sad: a man, someone who literally sells vision, lives with a woman, and next door to the woman he used to live with. He cannot help but hurt them, being emotionally incompetent; he has problems he carries about his dad. At the end, he facilitates a possibility of real love with another man for his recent lover. She has run away, scared by loss. It is slow. He has a sort of redemption.

One bit with power is in the middle. Our hapless guy travels to the home where his estranged parents are, only to find them long dead. The house is occupied by a deaf old man and his 18 year old granddaughter, played by Alicia Witt. This was 1993, when in Hollywood, she was a sort of mystical token, following her use by Lynch in "Dune," and his wild pronouncements of her symbolism. This sequence has a tone apart from all else you see; more dreamy, more like Kusturica, the production of whose "Arizona Dream" overlapped with this. Alicia has her high point as a young actress here, desperately lonely with a man who cannot hear her.

The other bit is contrasted with the lack of hearing. The desert is photographed with one intent: to provide something to lay lush sounds upon, as if to give us the richnesses the characters on screen are denied. The sounds are of three kinds: desert sounds; Gram Parsons songs from his period where he gave his life to this same desert out of similar loneliness; and a lovely girls choir with something merged from Indian chants, space music and aeolian chords.

If you are not already desperately lonely, this will do the job.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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Meaningless, self-absorbed, pretentious and, worst of all, deadly dull
bob the moo9 April 2002
Nick is a TV salesman who is discontented with his life with Beth and plans for them to move towns. Carol is Nick's friend and former lover who lives next door and Sid is a painter who has a crush on Beth. This film follows the movement of these generation X'ers as they affect each other's lives.

Done at the same time as gen X movies were in vogue and on the back of Tarantino fever – Roth and Stoltz both benefiting from his success. This claims to have a story but it hides it beneath layer and layer of pretension, making it hard to get involved in. The story does have some clever parallels between the character's lives and Newton's rule that a body remains stationary until affected by another. However the characters are unrealistic and selfish – making it hard to care about them.

The film is actually really dull – it's only 90 minutes long but it felt like a 3 hour epic. The story is really meaningless despite thinking that shots of cacti and using African music will somehow make this deeply profound!

Roth, Fonda, Stoltz and Cates have al been good at least once. Here they're all hampered by bad characters and pretentious dialogue.

Overall, meaningless, self-absorbed, pretentious and, worst of all, deadly dull. What a major disappointment.
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1/10
Lots of bodies at rest
dark-1015 September 2001
Boring! This is another perfect example why you don't transfer plays into films. And if you're going to even try, you don't let the playwright do the screenplay. Lots of rest, little motion. Throw this one in the junk pile of plays with Hurlyburly.
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Not enough dialog
old-dude22 November 2002
I got pulled in to this one because Bridget Fonda was in it. Also, the score had lots of Gram Parsons. And some good reviews here. It just was not my cup of tea. Some may love it. This movie was making a profound statement about generation X. The problem is that it did not say it enough. The lack of dialog made this movie completely inert. I am sure it's creators meant for that to be part of the point but good gosh. The dialog that was there was good. Just not enough lines. Anyone bother to count them? I pay money to see people talking or visual stimulation or both. This movie had neither. Save your money and go down to the library and watch people who are not speaking just sit there.
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2/10
Primarily at rest ... zzzzz
DaCritic-215 October 1999
This movie is a character study, and the correlation between the Newtonian laws of physics (bodies at rest tend to remain at rest; bodies in motion tend to remain in motion) and the characters in the movie are left to the viewer to "get." Thus, the movie starts out expecting its viewers to have stayed awake through Physics 101. Good luck staying awake through the movie.

I like Tim Roth. I like Bridget Fonda. I like Eric Stoltz. Just not in this movie. Bridget's character was believable, and felt very real, but there wasn't enough plot to keep me interested or any character that I truly liked enough for this movie to make any significant impression. * out of *****.
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10/10
Interesting, Enjoyable, Quite
Abasin20 January 2008
A very interesting movie with great dialog. I understand this was originally a play be the filming does a great job of removing the limits that plays that become movies often face. This had good set and settings. It's a quite movie so don't watch it if you're tired because it won't keep you perky. But never less I found this to be a very enjoyable film and wanted more. The characters were very well develop and well acted. All the characters demonstrated their strengths and weakness without dialog that assumes the watcher couldn't figure out what was going on and without any major over acting (though the character of Nick was just a bit overdone). The motorcycle twist was cool and subtle, well done.
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7/10
Great Cast, Interesting Movie
battlereddy17 October 2007
Like many movies, your expectations going in can greatly influence your opinion of a movie. This is one is an exception to my expectations. I really like the main cast - Bridgett Fonda, Tim Roth, Phoebe Cates and Eric Stoltz and went in with pretty high expectations. The movie met my expectations. It was neither disappointing, nor the best movie I'd ever seen, but was very satisfying. If you like the cast, you'll most likely enjoy the movie. It had been quite a while since I had seen Phoebe Cates in anything, so I was glad to see her in this movie. I like Tim Roth and Bridgett Fonda in just about every movie they make. The movie also features Alicia Witt in one of her earlier roles.
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Mostly a filmed "slice of life" play, the four central characters are somewhat interesting.
TxMike3 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Why I watched this movie is perhaps more interesting than the movie itself. I wanted my own DVD copy of a superb movie, "The Legend of 1900" with Tim Roth. That DVD sells for around $15. But I could buy a two-pack of Tim Roth movies, "The Legend of 1900" and... "Bodies, Rest&Motion", both DVDs in separate packages, for less than $10 total! So, what's a guy to do? Seems like crazy marketing, but I'm better off for it.

"Bodies, Rest&Motion", is named for Newton's Law of Physics, which states, a body at rest or in motion will tend to stay in that state unless acted on by some outside force. This is supposed to describe the four main characters, and their situations in life, what do you do with yourself. Phoebe Cates as Carol is clearly the best here. The reasonable, organized one, but who still has some contact with her former boyfriend, the useless and amoral Nick, played by Tim Roth. Bridget Fonda plays Beth, Nick's current live-in girlfriend. He gets fired from his TV salesman job ("I was going to quit anyway") and announces to Beth that in two days they would be moving from Arizona to Butte, Montana, because it seemed like a good change, even though neither had been there. In comes Eric Stoltz who plays Sid, the painter hired to repaint the house before the new tenants move in.

The movie is about how they interact with "life" and with each other. Each encounters "outside forces" which alter their states of rest or motion, not so much physically, but psychologically. It is interesting as a character study, but we get no backstory when the movie begins, and we get no resolution when the movie ends. It's only interest is seeing the characters interact. Fortunately, all the characters are interesting.

SPOILERS FOLLOW, you may want to quit reading. As Beth is preparing to move with Nick, he calls mutual pal Carol, asked her to tell Beth he has left town, heading north. So she gets rid of everything as she also has a quick overnight affair with Sid. We see Nick try to look up his parents in his old home town half way, but finds strangers living there. For some reason he heads back to Arizona and finds Beth gone, with nothing but her VW and some belongings in suitcases. Nick finds out details of the past day, tells Sid, who professed to already love Beth, he was crazy to let her go. Thinking she would be traveling to her parents in Florida, Sid takes off east on I-10, then after dark begins to stop at cheap motels, looking for her car. The movie ends, after not finding her at the first place, and we presume he will continue east and continue looking, and we don't know if he will ever find her. An outside force, however, has changed his motion.
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6/10
Where's the plot?
George Parker20 January 2001
"Bodies...", a well crafted flick with a good cast and good acting, is a non-story which looks at a couple of days in the lives of four ordinary young adults (2 males, 2 females) struggling with some rather pedestrian issues while depending on one question to hold viewer interest...Where's the plot? The whole film is a character study of people who are not sufficiently interesting to make the film a memorable watch save fans of the principals. Okay but lacking in substance.
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