Odd...interesting...hard to explain
msx58 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL | 07/28/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ok you've got 3 women. That's it. The flick alternates between each of them and the camera in a series of monologues that are like diary entries...sort of.
There's a Producer (beverly)whose entries are headed to a book publisher. A massage therapist (Portia) who believes she can steal energy from her Hollywood clients, whose entries are part of a book there is no publisher for. And a casting director whose entries are a combination of letters to her newborn blind son and letters to Holly Hunter (her son's godmother).
The thing is that there is a lot of movie references and it's more of an art movie than a movie with a plot. There is no interaction between the three or between them and anyone else that is seen.
However, a few times in the film you find that they are connected to each other in obscure ways. For instance, Portia sets out to seduce a man, who turns out to be the husband of the casting director. And there is a twisted connection of all three of them with a psychiatrist.
It's a flick that is interesting for the first 30 mins. At an hour, you notice the clock and realize there is about 45 minutes more of this that you will have to sit through. Then at an hour and 15, you find yourself reluctant to turn it off, just because you need closure with these women and with this bizarre sequence of events.
It's not terrible...the three women starring in this flick make that impossible. But there are just some things you never really need to see (like Portia on the toilet).
I say 3 stars, only because if you are in the mood for something like this flick, you might really enjoy it. But if you're not prepared or in the mood, it would be very easy to become bored or fall asleep."
Strong Acting and Good Material Ruined by Pretentious Direct
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 09/05/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"`Women in Film" is about the three women living and working in and around Hollywood, all of whom talk directly to the camera. In most of the scenes they never share the screen, but they have one thing in common: Hollywood. The film struggles to be both a biting satire and a lively sketch of the females, but though the film's experimental techniques are not without merit, the tedium settles in after watching the initial 30 minutes.
Beverly D'Angelo is a film producer Phyllis Wolf keen on remaking one old Terence Stamp film; Portia de Rossi is Gina, masseuse with magic fingers, and wannabe writer for films; and Marianne Jean-Baptiste is a casting director Sara, who has recently experienced unhappy things in her family. So far, things look interesting.
Sadly, however, `Women in Film' has little to offer. Based on a chapter of the book writer/director Bruce Wagner wrote, the film sluggishly follows their memoirs about the recent events that happened to the three ladies. The events, loosely related to each other, and all told in monologue, could be more interesting and involving with more detailed and compassionate descriptions about the lives of women, or at least the gossips of Hollywood celebrities.
In fact many famous names (NOT the faces) of the film industry like Jodie, Holly, et al, can be heard in their talk, but these uninteresting references are not engaging or satirical enough. What you hear is fictional `episodes' that have little to do the reality, quoted by fictional characters. Who cares?
The acting is all superb, but you may not realize that fact because the self-absorbed film, having no pace or rhythm, goes on eternally, offering no insight into the life of women or the film industry; instead of that, you will see unnecessary nudities from Miss de Rossi and D'Angelo, in swimming pool, in bathroom, in bathtub. What is the point of our watching a woman swimming naked? What is the point of jump-cutting and fast-forwarding? What do it mean when all these 'skills' only help make the film more detached?
While watching this on video, I remembered a film by Rodrigo Garcia named `Nine Lives,' of which tagline is "Every Life Has a Story." And I know what is fatally missing in `Women in Film.' By pushing the potentially rich content into experimental monologues, this film, intentionally or not, trivializes the life of the women it is showing. This dull film should and could have been more dynamic verbally or otherwise.
There are many better films about women's life. Watch `Nine Lives' or the same director's `Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her' or less mainstream film like `Ten Tiny Love Stories.'"