Four unnamed people who look and sound a lot like Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Joseph McCarthy converge in one New York City hotel room for this compelling, visually inventive adaptation of Terry Johnson’s play, from director Nicolas Roeg.
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I avoided watching this for years because I thought it might be one of Roeg's duds and the premise sounded too gimmicky but it's a great film. One of his best, up there with "Bad Timing". Try to forget that none of the actors look anything like the famous people their playing (except Einstein) and you'll appreciate what great work they're all doing. The final sequences were amazing!
Complicated feelings about the writing itself but Roeg's Zip Effect structuring where the characters' thoughts, childhoods, futures, and actions converge and match outside of rote chronology fits the themes of shared relativity, shared fame, shared anxiety, and shared loss; like Greek tragedy, every character loses because of a major character flaw. -- PolarisDiB
A compelling work of artistic expression that dissects the significant idols of the 50's. A movie that I believe is truly a revolutionary impression of how you can reinvent your art and make it into something that you can delve deep into your own way. Nicolas Roeg's direction + Terry Johnson's play + marvelous performances= Something truly magically.
Significance. Roeg took something that was very theatrical and made it cinematic; opened it up with his unique sense of camera and editing. The antithesis - and antidote - to Fences, Shape Of Things, Doubt, Carnage etc...