6.6/10
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23 user 11 critic

The Moderns (1988)

R | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | May 1988 (USA)
A struggling artist is hired to forge paintings, causing him to cross paths with his ex-wife and her powerful new husband.

Director:

Alan Rudolph
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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Carradine ... Nick Hart
Linda Fiorentino ... Rachel Stone
Wallace Shawn ... Oiseau
Geneviève Bujold ... Libby Valentin (as Genevieve Bujold)
Geraldine Chaplin ... Nathalie de Ville
Kevin J. O'Connor ... Hemingway
John Lone ... Bertram Stone
Charlélie Couture Charlélie Couture ... L'Evidence (as Charlelie Couture)
Elsa Raven ... Gertrude Stein
Ali Giron ... Alice B. Toklas
Gailard Sartain ... New York Critic
Michael Wilson Michael Wilson ... Surrealist Poet
Robert Gould ... Blackie
Antonia Dauphin Antonia Dauphin ... Babette
Véronique Bellegarde Véronique Bellegarde ... Laurette (as Veronique Bellegarde)
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Storyline

Nick Hart is a struggling American artist who lives amongst the expatriate community in 1920s Paris. He spends most of his time drinking and socializing in local cafés and pestering gallery owner Libby Valentin to sell his paintings. He becomes involved in a plot by wealthy art patroness Nathalie de Ville to forge three paintings. This leads to several run-ins with American rubber magnate Bertram Stone, who happens to be married to Hart's ex-wife Rachel. Written by measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les modernes See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,283, 17 April 1988

Gross USA:

$2,011,497

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,011,497
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nelson Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Vincent Canby in The New York Times, this Alan Rudolph film was "a project he nurtured for 12 years" in development. See more »

Quotes

Oiseau: [while observing his own faked funeral] If it weren't for me, these people would think surreal was a breakfast food!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Mavericks (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Parlez-moi d'Amour
Music by Jean Lenoir
Lyrics by Jean Lenoir
Performed by Lucienne Boyer and Charlélie Couture
See more »

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User Reviews

 
the art of artifice
8 December 2010 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

Alan Rudolph subscribes to the idea of Art for Art's sake, and as such is a kindred spirit to all the expatriate painters, poets, writers, and failures who flocked to the cultural Mecca of Paris in the naughty 1920s. The Jazz Age setting is tailor made for the director's latest romantic daydream, crafted here into a tongue-in-cheek satire of passion and creativity. The cast features his usual assembly of lonely eccentrics, cynical anti-heroes, and world-weary women, rubbing shoulders with historical figures like Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, who at one point compares life in bohemian Paris to a "portable banquet". As always with Alan Rudolph the film is a grab bag of visual wit and verbal invention (coming, at times, dangerously close to self-parody), with the added virtues of sensuous camera-work and a moody music score by Mark Isham. This is one filmmaker with the rare ability to mock his own pretensions (as Wallace Shawn says in the film, "we're artists: temperamental people!"), and his preoccupation with the art of artifice has never been better presented. Too bad the conclusion is spoiled by a false happy ending, which wraps up too many loose ends too neatly.


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