During a future ice age, dying humanity occupies its remaining time by playing a board game called "Quintet." For one small group, this obsession is not enough; they play the game with living pieces ... and only the winner survives.
The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.
Dr. Sullivan Travis "Dr. T." is a wealthy Dallas gynecologist for some of the wealthiest women in Texas who finds his idealist life beginning to fall apart starting when his wife, Kate, suffers a nervous breakdown and is committed to the state mental hospital. Dr. T's eldest daughter, Dee Dee, is planning to go through with her approaching wedding despite the secret that she's a lesbian and is romantically involved with Marilyn, the maid of honor. Dr T's youngest daughter, Connie, is a conspiracy theorist freak who has her own agenda to everything, while Dr. T's loyal secretary, Carolyn, has romantic feelings for him, which are not mutual. Dr. T's sister-in-law, Peggy, meddles in every situation she stumbles into, while one woman, Bree, a golf instructor, is the only one who offers him any comfort and salvation.Written by
You've Been So Good Up to Now
Composed by Lyle Lovett
Performed by Lyle Lovett
Published by Michael H. Goldsen Inc./Lyle Lovett
Courtesy of MCA Records/Curb Music Co.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
Robert Altman is frustratingly inconsistent, and here is at his worst. His very personal style has three characteristics:
1. Many-threaded storylines and characters, many of which raise questions that are not answered in the play. When done well, you get the impression of moving through the world with a curious voyeurism, dipping into many lives which are intriguing enough to learn more about. Except for the youngest daughter, none of these women are worth digging more into. The misogynism could have been an advantage; here it is cheap.
2. Spontaneous acting. Altman doesn't tell his actors what to do, trusting them to bring something fresh. In the best case, the differing visions of the actors add to the manyhued effect described above. But you need powerful actors like he had in "Cookie's Fortune." These folks, some of whom are fine when given direction, simply can't synthesize.
3. Wonderful tracking shots (which move from character to character so enhance the two effects noted above). Check out the first shot in "The Player." That alone is worth the admission. Here, we have a busily choreographed shot at the beginning and a dizzy pullback at the end, but neither to any useful effect.
Avoid this film. The master was asleep.
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