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High Art

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: High Art

Starring: Ally Sheedy, Radha Mitchell
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Rated: R
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: June 1998
Genres: Drama, Gay/Lesbian, Romance

*Also starring: Patricia Clarkson, Tammy Grimes, William Sage, David Thornton

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

Writer/director Lisa Cholodenko gives far more emphasis to getting high than to expressing art with this pretentious, downbeat dirge about lesbian love. Flimsily cloaked in an "All About Eve"-like scenario, the story revolves around a lowly, but ambitious young New York art magazine editor (Australian actress Radha Mitchell) who "discovers" a rebellious but talented photographer living in the apartment upstairs. A heroin-snorting, Jewish Bohemian, she "dropped out" of the art scene several years earlier to live in disillusioned, drug-addled decadence with her groggy German actress/lover (Patricia Clarkson) when the pressures of "fame" got tooheavy. In this pivotal leading role, Ally Sheedy - once an ingenue "Breakfast Club" member of Hollywood's Brat Pack - is ghastly thin and neurotically intense, even ferocious. Predictably, the relationship between the self-destructive artist and the naive opportunist sparks, ignites, and eventually fizzles but, since all the women involved are so spaced-out, it's hard for the audience to connect with any of them. Nevertheless, for a first-time film-maker, Lisa Chodolenko shows promise, particularly in herhip, witty jibes about the "business" of producing art. If she could leave the murky, rotten drug scene behind, she'd show her story-telling skills more admirably. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "High Art" is a tiresome 3. Watching lethargic, unhappy women take drugs and incoherently talk nonsense is hardly classified as entertainment.

Copyright 1998 Susan Granger

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