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