Article 3785 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-13-2011
Posting Date: 12-25-2011
Directed by Robert Altman
Featuring Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi
Country: UK / USA
What it is: Mind games
A housewife who can’t tell reality from fantasy finds herself dealing with three men, a young girl, and herself… but how many of them are real?
I suppose it’s no surprise that Robert Altman’s foray into horror would owe a lot more to REPULSION than to any more conventional horror movie. And I’m grateful that the movie lets us understand early on that this woman isn’t sane instead of saving it as a final revelation. I’m also not surprised that the movie, though not considered one of his best, is in general well regarded. However, one’s view of a movie can sometimes be affected by the movies one has seen in close conjunction with it, and I’m afraid that I’ve encountered this theme just a bit too recently to be ready for another encounter so soon. And though I admire some of the playfulness on the edges of this movie (the story that Susannah York’s character reads from throughout the movie was written by Susannah York herself, and the movie features an actress named Susannah playing a character named Cathryn, while an actress named Cathryn plays a character named Susannah, while the first names of each male actor matches the names of one of the other actors’ character), I’m afraid I found spending so much time in a madwoman’s mind to be a bit more tedious than I cared for. It’s well acted, and very interesting at times, but you really have to be in the mood for it to enjoy it.