A THOUGHT PROVOKING DOCUMENTARY IN WHICH GOLDEN GLOVE NOMIMAEDACTRESS ROSANNA ARQUETTE TALKS TO THE FILM INDUSTRYS MOST TALENTED AND AWARD WINNING ACTRESSES ABOUT THE PRESSURES THEY FACE AS WOMEN WORKING IN SHOW BUSINESS
0/0 rating. This looked interested. I don't know what they were thinking when they made this movie. All of the woman in it, some very beautiful at one time did not even have make up on and some were horribly aged and one in particular did cake on makeup and looked ridiculous. Avoid this at all costs and do not listen to the raters who acted like it was good.
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Barbra P. (barbrap) from HIGHLAND MLS, NY Reviewed on 8/21/2009...
Excellant documentary. Real actors speaking their minds. Enlitening and entertaining. a must see
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Great Film -- A Moronic Rating...
efoff | Ecotopia | 04/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You must see this movie. As all the other reviews state, this documentary about women in Hollywood is first rate.Often these types of documentaries suffer mightily under the weight of overwhelming ego-angst of the personality who makes the film. However, Ms. Arquette walks that very narrow tightrope about expressing her own feelings and concerns--sharing herself--without overwhelming the viewer. I have always admired her work, but I think this is the best film that I have seen Ms. Arquette in. I cannot praise her work in "Searching" enough.The interview subjects are also beyond praise: Tracy Ullman talking about "dignity," in a way that is poignant--but still hilarious; Whoopi Goldberg, as the "smart Whoopie," talking about not having fame handed to her on a silver platter (the platter was platinum), and how her career choices affected her family; Martha Plymton describing her roles as being "the friend, with all her lines as questions ("How *are* you?" "Are you going to *out* with him?"); Ally Sheedy describing the main quality for women actors is reduced to "Ef-ability;" Daryl Hannah complaining about having to wear a short, brown haired wig to play the "mother" of a sixteen year old--when Kelly Lynch is the mother of a sixteen year old, and is no where near "mousy" by any definition. Almost all of the insights are terrific. Sharon Stone, in particular, I enjoyed.But Debra Winger--I cannot be objective about Ms. Winger. She is one of my favorite actors of all time, having the talent to display just the right mix of tenderness, sensuality, spunkiness, and intelligence (emphasis on the latter)--if you don't know what I mean, then I won't be able to explain it to you. Debra Winger is just what you'd expect: gracious and intelligent--the kind of person who you would hope she would be. Ms. Arquette is really to be commended for putting together one of the best films I have ever seen. And Holly Hunter--I need to give a special shout out re Ms. Hunter's conversation with Ms. Arquette. And the final credits--a perfect end to an almost perfect movie. [...] See this movie. You will be sorry if you do not."
DonnaReviews | Northeast USA | 10/12/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As a feminist, I'd been eager to see "Searching for Debra Winger." Unfortunately, however, I'd agree that, although it has its fascinating moments, it's meandering and unfocused and also, on some levels, incredibly shallow. Rosanna Arquette becomes quickly annoying by calling everyone "amazing" and then the stars trip over themselves to return the adulation - they're all predictably taken with themselves. In fact, they fulfill the worst stereotypes of the self-obsessed and spoiled wealthy (even Whoopi Goldberg, although a humorous bright spot, openly admitted that she neglected her children because being a star was more interesting than being a mom). There's not much depth -- except by accident when Arquette bothers to talk to an intelligent and magnetic speaker like Jane Fonda; the interview with Fonda, in fact, is the highlight. When a table of Hollywood blondes, including a grotesque Melanie Griffith (lip collagen nightmare) lament that they aren't getting more challenging roles and are typecast by their looks, it seems more laughable than sympathetic. You mean, they don't realize they were hired for their looks in the first place? Surely there are other actresses who have aged gracefully and who don't utter cliches as if they've just been ingenious? Part of it, I believe, is Arquette's inadequacy in reining in her subjects and keeping things focused. When we finally get to Debra Winger, it's a bit of a let-down. I want her to challenge Arquette, yet there's more back-patting. And was Winger such an "amazing" actress, in the first place? I admit I wasn't taken enough with her ability to have given her absence from the screen much thought. I wonder more what happened to Brooke Adams who was very good (I did see her at the Academy Awards). But basically, I wonder why women try to make other women feel "inadequate" for actually pursuing a quality real life instead of work. I thought choice was part of what the women's movement was supposed to be about. It makes more sense to me, in fact, that a successful actress (like Debra Winger) would take a break from this path to smell the roses. Why on earth not?
In any event, a mixed bag, but still worth a look."
Arquette Bungles Issues
Ginger K. | New York | 01/01/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was hoping that Arquette, with so many talented women before her camera, would deliver fresh insights into the very real problem of sexism in movies. Instead, the inarticulate Arquette leads us through a meandering flattery fest ("you're, like, so amazing"), constantly emphasizing appearance by telling the actresses how good they look, as if her point is that actresses over 40 should be cast in movies not because they're talented, but because they still look sexy."
Arquette's Personal Quest Turns Into a Meandering, Self-Indu
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 06/05/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"In 1996's "The First Wives Club", Goldie Hawn, as an aging actress, has a piercingly perceptive line courtesy of screenwriter Robert Harling, "In Hollywood, women only have three ages: babe, district attorney, and 'Driving Miss Daisy'". Actress Rosanna Arquette has decided to explore this unfortunately true perspective in her 2002 documentary where she speaks with thirty-five renowned actresses of varying ages. Even though it's doubtful any of them are facing economic hardship, their dilemmas would still make a worthy subject for a film, but she makes it such an overly personalized odyssey over her own tenuous success as a 43-year old actress and mother that she is unable to provide anything significantly insightful on the topic.
Instead, we are left with a film with some revealing moments but more commonly, a haphazard structure of interview snippets that seem to make the same set of points over and over again - the incessant struggle to find good roles for women past forty, the precarious balance between managing a career and raising a family, and the myopia of profit-minded studio executives interested in what teenage males want to see (at least according to film critic Roger Ebert, the only male interviewed). The problem is that Arquette, as a documentarian, cannot provide much-needed objectivity to her subject, as she repeatedly interjects with her personal experiences when she is not fawning over her subjects. Her lack of discipline extends into her editing as there is no sense of organization to her narrative other than how she came upon the actresses, whether proactively seeking them out individually, organizing lunches (like what Jon Favreau does with his TV series, "Dinner for Five") or happening upon them at Cannes (like surprising a thankfully good-humored Frances McDormand in the ladies room). Truth be told, some come off quite badly as they fumble through unformed thoughts or mind-numbing analogies. Meg Ryan, Gwyneth Paltrow and Emmanuelle Béart come to mind.
Some like Robin Wright Penn and Charlotte Rampling reveal so little about themselves that their inclusion provides questionable value, and a self-consciously glamorous Sharon Stone comes across as rather disingenuous when she talks about her abandonment of vanity. But others provide nuggets of wisdom like Holly Hunter, Diane Lane, Salma Hayek, Martha Plimpton (who has forsaken movies for the stage) and a predictably funny Whoopi Goldberg. Leave it to veterans Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Fonda to offer the film's most honest, insightful comments, the latter especially revealing in how former husband Ted Turner encouraged her retirement and then sharing how she feels when she nails a pivotal scene in a movie. Fortunately, Debra Winger, whose self-imposed (and ultimately short-lived) retirement inspired the film's eponymous title, shows herself to be the trenchantly sardonic, perceptive non-conformist she obviously is. The film really contains very little when it comes to revelations about the inherent sexism of the film industry, and Arquette's personal catharsis frankly does not resonate enough to make the film worthwhile. Other than some trailers, the DVD has no extras."
Two stars for Martha Plimpton
Kate Smart | Private | 03/10/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The best part of this film was seeing Martha Plimpton - one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood, smoking a cigarette and forcefully expressing her wish to see great characters in film for women. That was worth the price of admission. The rest...eh. Most of these actresses are average at best, and managed to secure a great career because of their looks. Not one of them could be described as unattractive. But when 40 looms closer, suddenly the roles aren't there. This is unfair. What's really unfair, is that most of these women got roles in the FIRST PLACE because of their beauty, while their lesser-attractive counterpart had to take a job at Starbucks. Never do any of them mention this - that plain women, short women, women of colour - have almost no roles available to them. There is one token black actress in this documentary (Alfre Woodard) and one Latina (Salma Hayak). The rest are white, and mostly blonde.
Their scope of reference is incredibly narrow, insufferably self-absorbed, and lacking any real analysis. Acting is not high art, yet these actresses kept referring to their "craft", their "passion", etc. as though it were an out-of-control compulsion. Their films have not changed the world. And hearing how "hard" it is to do one crummy film a year while raising children was especially disturbing. It's as though these women have absolutely nothing else on the ball - no other hobbies, passions, talents, etc. The saddest part was seeing Theresa Russell - an excellent actress - talk about running out of money. Surely, there is something else she could do.
The sexism, ageism, and racism in Hollywood is appalling, no doubt. Therefore, these smart, rich women should get together and start writing their own scripts, their own movies, and getting their stories seen and heard on their own."