Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Insignificance (1985, Nicolas Roeg)

It feels vaguely like an exercise, but one of a particularly intoxicating sort, an experiment to bring together Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Joe McCarthy and Albert Einstein in one room in one night. The center of the film is the kinship between "The Actress" and "The Professor," which leads to a magical discussion of the theory of relativity that ought to be shown in high school physics classes, followed by some efforts to connect on her part and a great deal of reluctance on his. But all of the characters pull their weight, even "The Senator," who comes off initially as little more than a hateful demagogue. Also, remember when Tony Curtis was still trying? Remember when Gary Busey wasn't a joke? Most of all, I just miss seeing Theresa Russell in movies like these rather than showing up for a scene in SPIDER-MAN 3 while barely concealing her contempt for the hackneyed dialogue she was given. Rating: ***1/2.

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