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Mary Kay Place,
This film might be too experimental and fragmented for its own good, but it is enlivened by fantastic performance by Ellen Barkin as Colleen West, an retired actress trying to find her place in the world she is not familiar with. The film doesn't follow traditional narrative and scenes jump from present to past, and between dreaming, dreams and nightmares (there is one haunting scene near the end the puts most contemporary horror films into shame). Yet, this fragmented flow of the film doesn't take anything away from Ellen Barkin's wonderful character. Actually it all enhances her confusion - did she already loose everything (herself among) while she was working as an actress or, everything went loss after her retirement? It is my own personal interpretation, that she was already lost, but when she quit the circus she just started to see the things. Although, experimental with its directing style and it sounds pretentious self search/loss story, the film stands much higher than your usual artsy film school stuff that deals with existencial crisis. The heightened meaning behind this might come from Barkin's performance and her own life experience. Don't be afraid that film, although black and white, might be too depressive or bleak, as it offers some nice laughs. Especially scenes between Colleen West and her new neighbor Shelly (Melora Walters). Barkin's character is wonderfully arrogant and self conscious, but not unpleasant, actually she is very cool.
Definitely not for everyone, but this movie has definitely hasn't got the recognition it truly deserves.
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