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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Object Of Beauty (1991)

A young American couple (John Malkovich, Andie MacDowell), shallow and narcissistic, are living beyond their means in a posh London hotel. In the same hotel, a young deaf mute (Rudi Davies) is working as a maid to support her younger brother (Ricci Hartnett, 28 DAYS LATER). The object of beauty of the title refers to a small bronze sculpture that will affect all four characters and change the course of their lives. A modest effort written and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg (LET IT BE), it's a rather chilly piece though very well acted (especially by MacDowell and Davies) that never quite pulls us in probably because the Malkovich and MacDowell (both impeccably dressed by Giorgio Armani) characters are so self centered that it's hard to empathize with them or their situation which is brought upon by themselves. But it has a well written screenplay that keeps its focus and gets the job done though one wishes Lindsay-Hogg's direction was as strong as his script. There's a nice unobtrusive jazz score by Tom Bahler and the cinematographer David Watkin's (OUT OF AFRICA) eye ably recreates both the elegance of an upscale lifestyle and the squalor of poverty. With Lolita Davidovich, Joss Ackland and Peter Riegert.

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