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Senin, 09 Mei 2011

Alan Rudolph - Afterglow (1997)

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Set in the city of Montreal, Alan Rudolph's romantic comedy-drama "AFTERGLOW" paints a wryly comic portrait of two modern marriages drifting toward the rocks.

Lucky (Nick Nolte) is a contractor whose business owes its success in equal measure to his skill at repair work and to his amorous attentions to the lonely women who hire him. His marriage, however, has fallen on hard times-- his wife Phyllis (Julie Christie), began to shut Lucky out of her heart years ago when a bitter argument violently disrupted their home. A former B-movie actress, Phyllis now passes her time in a nostalgic haze, watching her old movies and remembering happier days. She turns a blind eye to Lucky's infidelities, but resists his attempts to bring romance back into their life together. "The hardest part is finding out too late that none of it lasts," she tells him, resigning herself to her disillusionment.

Across town, a young married couple is going through difficulties of their own. Marianne (Lara Flynn Boyle) wants desperately to have a baby, but her self-centered, corporate climber husband Jeffrey (Jonny Lee Miller) has no plans for anything except his career. Frustrated by this stalemate, Marianne goes about tracking her fertility cycles, while Jeffrey tracks the stock markets. Despite their frequent quarrels, Jeffrey maintains that everything is "working quite well on many levels." But Marianne feels that "nothing is working," including their ultra-designed apartment, which still needs a number of repairs.

When Marianne hires Lucky to fix up the apartment and build a nursery for her hoped-for baby, the attention he pays to her churns up long-neglected emotions, and they soon begin an affair. Jeffrey and Phyllis, both suspecting something, separately trail the unfaithful pair to the bar of the Ritz Hotel, but discover each other instead. They begin to flirt over a bottle of champagne, each unaware of the other's identity, as their cheating spouses leave the bar undetected.

Rudolph gracefully etches the seductiveness of romance, as his two lonely couples change partners and dance. With clear-eyed maturity, "AFTERGLOW" poignantly captures both the sadness of love and its revitalizing power.

"AFTERGLOW" is Alan Rudolph's 15th feature film and was produced by Robert Altman.

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