A college professor's day: his top student allegedly commits suicide, his wife presents him with divorce papers and he overnights in a freshman girl's dorm. The next day: more murders around him. Will he find the killer in time?
Around thirty years after Arlis witnessed his father murdering a family, he runs into Kay, who happens to be the family's baby, who was spared. Kay and Arlis suspect nothing about each other, but when his father returns, old wounds are reopened.Written by
Shot at the Sunset Motel in Monahans, Texas, owned and operated by Doris Barker. Daughter Jeanie Barker Scott's stepdaughter got a walk-on role when a young actress called in sick. Shooting the week there were James Caan, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, and Gwyneth Paltrow. See more »
When Arlis is a boy, the star tattoo is on the right side of his forehead. As an adult when Arlis pulls back his hair in a hotel room, the tattoo has moved to the left side of his forehead. See more »
You got a pretty face, you should let the boys see it.
It ain't my face the boys want to see.
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Fine performances; first class writing and direction
Very few false moments in this Sydney Pollack ensembled film. Steven Kloves shows skilled insight as both writer and director here, putting fine oblique touches to his dialogue, applying a steady observant eye (with DP Phillipe Rousselot's help) to the blocking and shooting, and using Thomas Newman's music to optimum effect. His sparse and well-placed music cues highlight the great writing by Tom Newman here, which is of a quality equal to Newman's later score for Horse Whisperer. TN is truly one of the most evocative composers working in film this decade.
Flesh and Bone features the best acting I've ever seen Meg Ryan do, though she won't probably cite it herself, any more than Sarandon cites Lorenzo's Oil. Disregard the flack. Serious character work going on here if you want to see what Ryan can really do.
Her hubby Dennis Quaid antes up too, combining sullen, well modulated internal work with a wry vocal tone and a great understanding of his character's moment to moment decision making. No rakish charm here.
Paltrow is surprisingly edgy and cynical, although mostly a foil for Ryan and Caan. Caan is workman-like, effective, but a hair hammier than the rest. Luckily the script and director don't give Jimmy too much rein; he's done better (For fine Caan see Chapter Two or Thief). Overall, Flesh and Bone is a solid nine drama, well worth renting, and graced with a few story surprises. Real film buffs will be gratified.
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