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I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can
I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can
Actors: Jill Clayburgh, Nicol Williamson, Dianne Wiest, Joe Pesci, Geraldine Page
Director: Jack Hofsiss
Genres: Drama
R     2005     1hr 47min

One of today's most gifted and brilliant actresses, Jill Clayburgh, brings her special sensitivity to the role of Barbara Gordon, a successful television documentary producer who became hopelessly dependent on tranquilizer...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jill Clayburgh, Nicol Williamson, Dianne Wiest, Joe Pesci, Geraldine Page
Director: Jack Hofsiss
Creators: Jan de Bont, David Nicksay, David Rabe, Edgar J. Scherick, Scott Rudin, Barbara Gordon
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/21/2005
Original Release Date: 03/05/1982
Theatrical Release Date: 03/05/1982
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Not easy going but rewarding
Peter Shelley | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 08/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Although her screen persona in such films as Starting Over and It's My Turn was being the nice girl next door, Jill Clayburgh
also took some chances. Just think of her vomiting in An Unmarried
Woman and her incestuous opera singer in Bernardo Bertolucci's
Luna. This film is based on Barbara Gordon's book and what probably
helped Clayburgh to deliver her searing performance is that her
husband playwright David Rabe both produced and did the screenplay,
and the director was Jack Hofsiss who did The Elephant Man on stage to
such acclaim. Her Barbara is barely likeable - obsessive-compulsive,
hostile, chain-smoking and valium addicted. It's fascinating to see
how she conceals her pills, and clear that she lacks the support to
accomodate her impulsive decision to withdraw. She is told that valium
withdrawal is as traumatic as opiate withdrawal, and having an
alcoholic abusive lover doesn't help. As Barbara withdraws, Clayburgh
goes all out - convulsing, drooling, shrieking, maniacal, with wild
mad eyes and Frances Farmer hair. When she is eventually
institutionalised we see the anger that the valium had suppressed as
she rages at her therapist played by Dianne Wiest, who matches
Clayburgh. Wiest's first film had been Clayburgh's It's My Turn and
it's generous to think that Clayburgh helped her along with this role,
before she found greater success with Woody Allen. The film is
actually full of interesting actors in small roles - John Lithgow,
David Margulies, Kathleen Widdoes, Daniel Stern, Joe Pesci, Anne de
Salvo, Ellen Greene, Richard Masur, Jeffrey de Munn, and Geraldine
Page as a poet with cancer who Barbara is making a doco on. The poetry
we hear her recite is by Marsha Rabe. Occasionally Page slips into
Method-overdrive, with her hands and her little girl voice, and she
kills the meaning of the title, but mostly she is believable. The
casting of Nicol Williamson as Clayburgh's lover however doesn't quite
work. He is certainly creepy but we never understand his reluctance to
get Barbara medical help during her withdrawal. Hofsiss gives us two
great images - Clayburgh walking down a long corridor after having
been insulted by Page, aggresively wiping away her tears, and her
running on the beach in a white gown. The music of Stanley Silverman
and the Primavera String Quartet is particularly beautiful and
moving. Also Clayburgh is dressed very stylishly here, that is when
not draped in her crazy lady pyjamas.
I Am Dancing As Fast As I am
Julia E. Wissell | Windham New Hampshire Home NYC | 12/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I lived her life and it is almost 20 years since I read the book and saw the movie and it still haunts me. Today I am fine, and I can say nothing more than that book really helped me to believe in myself."
A struggle with early childhood pain and the stress of moder
T. L. Quesenberry, Jr. | 09/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie requires insight and empathy for the lead character, otherwise it does appear the director did not adequately present what is the groundfloor to such addictions. However, there is alot of character development here for those who listen carefully. Barbara is tortured due to being unwanted and unloved and has used her career to cover it up along with Valium use. She finally hits rock bottom and gets treatment via examining the sources of her rage filled inner-self. This movie really stands out in memory from the 80's as a frank presentation of addiction, multiple competing roles, and the culture-of-Narcissm we live in and the sickness it can really create. It shows that "success" is merely another cover up, another addiction with some people. Lovinging oneself is unconditional if it is real and yes you "don't have to cripple yourself to be loved.""
The Dance of Despair
Randall Ivey | USA | 11/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The subject matter is obviously heavy and weighs the audience down as much as the protagonist, but this is a mostly successful (if highly earnest) adaptation of the famed memoir by prize-winning documentarian Barbara Gordon. With such a lukewarm endorsement, my five-star rating may seem unwarranted, but this movie deserves a wide audience for one reason, as far as I'm concerned, and that's Geraldine Page's stunning supporting turn as the cancer-ravaged poet about whom Gordon is producing her latest work. The scene in the hospital, when Page explodes at Clayburgh, for the sentimentality of the documentary, will raise all the hair on your body and is further proof of Page's greatness. That she was not nominated for an Academy Award for this lacerating performance is an irrevocable blight on the movie industry.

One day Page will get her due. Watch I'M DANCING AS FAST AS I CAN, with all its flaws, to see this acting genius at full throttle."