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Six Degrees of Separation

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Six Degrees of Separation

Starring: Will Smith, Stockard Channing
Director: Fred Schepisi
Rated: R
RunTime: 111 Minutes
Release Date: December 1993
Genres: Comedy, Drama

Review by Steve Rhodes
3½ stars out of 4

I worried when SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION started because for a few brief moments I thought I had walked into a Neal Simon comedy, which I hate. Not to fear, it turned out to be non-stop intriguing dialog. The words per minute rate for the first part of the show is exceeded only by SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA and maybe by MY DINNER WITH ANDRE.

The script by John Guare deserves an award - witty and very bright. You don't want to cough and miss a word of it. The movie is based on a play which I believe has the same name. There are many memorable lines. My favorite has to do with what to give rich people and how simple it is. See the movie to find out. You never know when you may want to send Bill Gates a little something. Best to be ready at a moment's notice.

There are three award quality performances. Donald Sutherland as the art dealer, Stockard Channing as his wife, and, most of all, Will Smith as the con artist. Note: Channing is nominated for an Academy Award for best actress for her part.

The movie is a comedy in a way, but even more it is an evolving mystery. Most of all, however, it is a character study and some fascinating characters they are. I am not giving any of the plot away - much better to be surprised. The direction by Fred Schepisi of the ensemble cast has them all in perfect rhythm. The sets by Patrizia Von Brandenstein show the elegance and yet coldness of rich people's lives.

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION was bursting with energy. The editing keep a good pacing and the show ran 1:51. It is rated R for reasons which escape me. I think it would be fine for teenagers to see by themselves. It gets *** 1/2 in my book and a strong recommendation to go see it.

Copyright 1995 Steve Rhodes

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