: : : The Object of Beauty

Story

The director Michael Lindsay-Hogg has a name that sounds British despite the fact that he is a New Yorker by birth. Maybe that association derives from the fact that he's primarily helmed television films--segments of Brideshead Revisited, for example, as well as a pile of music videos for English bands like the Who and the Rolling Stones. One of his few ventures into feature filmmaking (another was the little-seen Frankie Starlight) is the 1990 film The Object of Beauty, which also looks, sounds, and feels British in sensibility. The film is set in a tony London hotel, the weather is England-dreary, and the clothes (when the actors are wearing them) are tweedish and woolly in appearance. And the story is essentially repressed and internal save for the brash American performances of John Malkovich and Andie MacDowell, who play a couple living way above their limited financial means. When Jake (Malkovich) bottoms out in a business deal, he urges Tina (MacDowell) to sell her little Henry Moore sculpture, an object of great beauty. Such beauty, in fact, that a young mute hotel maid decides to steal it for her own. The actress Rudi Davies, who plays the maid, steals more than the Moore, however. She sneaks the film out from under Malkovich and MacDowell, who was just coming off of her sex, lies, and videotape acclaim, and who is quite good here as well. The Object of Beauty is too subtle in its message--Jake and Tina lose their last monetary chance and in penury begin to discover who they are as people--to let us care about such a pouty pair, and the "hilarious mix-ups and mayhem" that the film promises are, in actuality, tame and trite. --Paula Nechak

Cast

John MalkovichJake
Andie MacDowellTina
Lolita DavidovichJoan
Joss AcklandMr. Mercer
Bill PatersonVictor Swayle
Ricci HarnettSteve
Peter RiegertLarry
Jack ShepherdMr. Slaughter
Roger Lloyd-PackFrankie

  • Genre: Comedy Movies
  • Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg
  • Producer: Artisan
  • Length: 103 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaApr 12, 1991
    EuropeSep 27, 1991
    AustraliaJul 4, 1991
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe12
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJun 29, 1999
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