For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
4.2
2,723 Ratings

3 Women

Directed by Robert Altman
United States, 1977
Drama, Avant-Garde

Synopsis

Surreal, dreamlike tale of a naive Southern girl named Pinky who arrives in a dusty California resort town and becomes magnetically drawn to her coworker Millie, a chatty would-be socialite.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
3 Women Directed by Robert Altman
It’s when you spend time ‘in’ the film, however, that 3 Women becomes strange. Right from the start, 3 Women induces stress with Gerald Busby’s suggestive, atmospheric, atonal score. At times, it is not only reminiscent of Jorge Arriagada’s music in Raoul Ruiz’s films, but also John Williams’ score for Altman’s Images (1972), a film that complements 3 Women. More so than the music, what pushes the film into the oneiric and expressive are the many doublings and couplings in the film.
March 19, 2016
Read full article
An unsettling diptych portrait rather than the fresco form that Nashville launched, it’s often slyly funny – particularly when it’s turning its side-eye on ‘me generation’ vacuity ( a dinner party constructed painstakingly from processed snacks, for instance).
October 02, 2015
This shape-shifting movie, which explores self-delusion, intense attachment, and identity-merging, originated in a dream Altman had and proceeds with a particular oneiric logic. The film is rich in brilliant oddities and juxtapositions, never more so than when Duvall and Spacek are encompassed in the same frame.
December 08, 2014
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • ig_____or's rating of the film 3 Women

    The moody soundtrack is an important clue for the second-half of the movie, when things turn very meta and cerebral. What started off as a platonic friendship wrapped in lovely, kitschy colours, clothes and sets, ends on a weird, mysterious place, where identity is lost and girl power arises. Spacek plays lunatic so well and Duvall is so easy breezy wannabe trophy-wife. Also, best swimming pool ever <3

  • Jason's rating of the film 3 Women

    Altman's Bergman-esque riff on identity and polarities of power is secretly about God. And if it is secretly about God, it is secretly about a malevolent God. There is something deeply insidious, poisoning the space between people, reducing them to wounded competitors, removing solidarity, once and for all, from the feminine equation. It was a hard movie to get to see when I was growing up. The world has improved.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film 3 Women

    An unforgettable mindfuck that works its way under your skin. Are all three women one? Are they a family? Is it, like Mulholland Drive, a dream that reflects an ugly reality? Look closely and decide, and the best thing is that it doesn't give up Altman's quirks or his humor: this nightmare is full of distinctly American kitsch, like Bergman decided to remake Persona on the set of The Brady Bunch. A masterpiece.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film 3 Women

    Altman's strangest film. A pre-Lynch take on Lynchian themes of dissociation, identity, alienation, the blurring of perspectives. Nods to Persona escape the curse of empty imitation by being delivered in Altman's unique & characteristic style; the camera drifting nomadically across complex scenes; picking out startling shots, strange objects, moments that seems inconsequential but make sense on reflection. Haunting.

  • josé neves's rating of the film 3 Women

    4,5.Years ago i thought it was a clever variation of a Bergman-ish kammerspiel and refused it. Now i admire its use of sequence-shot and abstract effects on a mythology of parasitic loneliness that comes from McCullers and O'Connor writing, without refusing Bergman's "Persona" or "Tystnaden" influences. An endless variation on the ever-changing rule-dominated processes, by means of a plastic impressive concentration.

  • mjgildea's rating of the film 3 Women

    Hypnotic and haunting. 3 Women almost felt like an American version of Persona. My exposure to Altman before this was pretty limited but I'm definitely curious now. His direction was amazing and the photography was gorgeous. And that dream sequence was nuts. Spacek and Duvall were fantastic, especially after the pivotal pool scene. This one definitely stays with you...

  • João Eça's rating of the film 3 Women

    Truly one of the most profound films about the void of society, the inabilty to communicate, the castration of identity, the loneliness of people, the desire to remain a child, the cult of one's image and the fusion of personas. Altman's radical treatment on multiple layers of space, overlapping sound, minimalist narrative and acting, monochromatic color and a montage of intervals creates a breathtaking masterpiece.

  • Joe Hackman's rating of the film 3 Women

    Perfect. Great performances, great story, great everything. Also, some of the best shot design I've seen in a while. Gotta love the zoom in to groceries, cut to dinner on the table, zoom out. Too good. I need some more Altman in my life.

Related films