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Minggu, 15 Mei 2011

Alan Rudolph - Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

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synopsis - AMG:
Jennifer Jason Leigh offers an acclaimed performance as humorist Dorothy Parker, who together with such 1920s luminaries as Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and George S. Kaufman, was a charter member of the legendary Algonquin Round Table. The story is related in flashback form, as Mrs. Parker, in Hollywood to cowrite the 1937 feature A Star is Born with her second husband Alan Campbell (Peter Gallagher), recalls her glory days as an Algonquinite. A great deal of attention is afforded Parker's vituperative bon mots, her alcoholism, her self-destructiveness, her suicide attempts, and her affairs with such literary contemporaries as Charles MacArthur (an uncharacteristically unsympathetic Matthew Broderick) and Robert E. Sherwood (Nick Cassavetes). The one person Parker truly seems to care about is humorist Robert Benchley (Campbell Scott), who prefers to keep their friendship platonic. Director Alan Rudolph attempts to convey the ambience of the 1920s by having dozens of that decade's luminaries appear in fleeting cameos, from Will Rogers (Keith Carradine) to Harpo Marx. Also featured in Mrs. Parker are Tom McGowan as the waspish Alexander Woollcott and Andrew McCarthy as Dorothy's near-invisible first husband, Eddie Parker.

review - AMG:
Jennifer Jason Leigh turns in a fascinatingly odd performance in this depressing but lovingly crafted film about the acerbic Dorothy Parker. Tracing her life in flashbacks, the film wisely focuses on the halcyon days of the Algonquin Round Table, where New York's top writers drank, laughed, and traded virulently witty put-downs. In these sequences, director Alan Rudolph presents a keenly observed look at the incestuous and ultimately destructive nature of the tightly-knit group, as the fun times soon turn to betrayal, alcoholism, and attempted suicide. The cast is wonderful, with surprisingly good turns from Matthew Broderick and Andrew McCarthy, among others, but some of the film's artistic conceits and its downbeat tone may turn off potential viewers. Its effect depends primarily on whether you buy Leigh's interpretation of her role, which is unusual to say the least. If you do, you'll find this quirky, offbeat picture to be richly rewarding despite its uneven pace.

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English, sub/idx and srt
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